TASER | The Finale: A New Story

WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! The series has reached its finale. But, if you haven’t read the previous episodes, don’t feel left out. The links are right here.

Episode 1: The Cop

Episode 2: The Trap

Episode 3: The Ultimatum

Episode 4: The Alternative

Episode 5: The Real World

And now … let’s get into the story, shall we.

The Finale

6:13AM

Saturday mornings are usually used for clean up around the house. To rearrange furniture, dispose of the garbage, and to clean the surrounding greenery. For Jerry Jenson, this was also true. But this morning, it would be a different kind of clean-up.

In his backyard, the flames were now dying down, leaving a black indentation in the ground. He had not felt any dependence on the drugs any longer, but he did not want to leave any behind. The bottles of alcohol lay in pieces a few feet away, their contents emptied into the earth. Never again would he keep this stuff.

Perhaps he was being too extreme. There had to have been more decent ways of getting rid of stuff. He just did not want to have any reason to return to them if a moment of desperation came. He may be a different man now, but he was just being cautious. He had gotten on and off the wagon enough times to convince him that he needed to do this. He knew that the real clean-up he needed was inside, where he could decide whether or not to purchase more of this stuff.

But what worried him the most this morning was what had happened to him. Really, what had happened to him? Why did he wake up in his bed and not at the Centre? Had he dreamt all of this? It had all seemed so real.

Gigi!

He wanted to talk with her, but his phone was gone. Besides, the Man had said that Grace was now alive in Jerry. The fact that all of this did not make much sense any longer troubled him deeply. And if he was alive now, having been dead before, what did that mean? What was he supposed to do now that he was out of a job?

What would happen now?

  Shine the Light in the Darkness, the Man had said. If that meant going and beating up Kraven now, one thing Jerry was sure of was that he did not feel ready to do that. But he couldn’t just sit there. It might be just a virtual reality, but it seemed so real. At least, while he was there.

Was he sure all of this had not been a dream? Aaargh! The uncertainty was annoying. But then he sobered. If it really had been a dream all along, he would rather take sleeping pills so that he could return to that dream and be there forever. Never before had a dream felt much better than reality.

And that was good reason to worry.

———-

 

This was the last place he would have ever wanted to be. He had not been here since he was a kid. But this was the only place that made sense to be.

Church.

First Towne Church was an old building that had seen the better part of the last century. The sisters at the Irene Williams home used to bring the children here every Sunday morning.

So, this is it, Jerry. You’re back here. What a twist.

The doors suddenly burst open, and two men in work clothes carried a wooden pulpit out and down the steps. “Steady,” one of them said. “Steady, steadyyyy… DROP!” They dropped it on the landing, visibly tired.

Jerry stepped out of his car and walked over to them. It didn’t feel right to just stand around. “Hey, can I help?”

They stared at him. The older one smiled. “It’s OK. We’re good.”

The other one was winded. “Hey, can I…?”

“Sure go ahead.” He smiled as his partner hurried off. “He’s really hardworking, that one. He’s been holding it in for quite a while now, but he wouldn’t tell. Uh, where are my manners. Have we met before?”

Jerry extended his hand. “I’m sorry, you can say I’m kinda new here. I’m Jenson.”

The man took it. “Brian. Good to meet you, Jenson.”

“I just … I got some questions,” he said. “I was hoping I could see the pastor.”

Brian shook his head. “I’m sorry, Pastor’s not around. He went out camping with the kids.”

“Oh…” Jerry nodded. Now there’s a twist. “It’s OK. Thanks. I, uh… guess I’ll come some other time.”

“Hey, anytime bro. But, if you don’t mind talking with a deacon, I’ve got the time.”

Jerry paused. “A deacon?”

“I help around with some stuff in here. I also get to sit in front, if that qualifies.” Jerry liked the man. “Here, have a seat.” Brian led him to a park seat on the lawn.

Jerry got right to it. “You know, I’ve never really been a religious person.”

Brian nodded. “Yeah. You’ve been on tippy-toes ever since you got here. I know the look, but it’s OK.”

There was no easy way to say this. “I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m not crazy. But there’s some crazy stuff that’s happened to me in the last twenty-four hours, and I was hoping someone could make some sense out of this for me.”

Brian pursed his lips and shrugged. “It’s OK. Let’s hear it.”

Jerry stared into his eyes. “You sure?”

“Even if I wasn’t, you’ve spooked my curiosity already.”

Jerry stared into the distance. He wanted to launch into his story, but he was never used to exposing himself to people he did not know. He would have to be careful with his words if he did not want to sound like a loon. “Do you believe in God?”

Brian blinked and smirked. “Really? Sure, yeah. I do.”

“Like Someone that’s writing our stories, yours and mine, and that’s also a part of it.”

“Wow … I’ve never heard it put that way before, but it’s true. That’s God. He writes our stories and plots our journeys. But we also have free will.”

“I thought I never really believed in God. And then … He suddenly comes crashing into my world. It’s like …” he paused wondering if he should go this far. “There was this darkness in me, and He’s taken it all and given me something better.”

Brian nodded. “That’s what Jesus did for us on the Cross. He took our sin and our past, and made an end to it. When we believe and receive it, we come to life.”

Jerry rested his hands on his knees. “Why is it so easy to forget these things? I’ve been sitting up all morning wondering if all of this was a dream. I mean, it seemed so real. But as the hours pass, the memories fade away. I feel more and more like this world is the real one. My problems and regrets and stuff are still there, and I don’t feel so different.”

Brian inhaled. “It’s never been about feelings, you know. God gave us our feelings, and they’re important for expressing ourselves. But He always demands faith.”

Ah, faith. Another million-dollar church word he had associated with blind ignorance.

“Faith, huh?” Jerry asked.

“Yeah. Sometimes He lets us see the real things to help us believe. Sometimes he doesn’t. ‘Blessed are they which see not, yet believe’. But you know what faith is? It connects us to the Real World.”

“The Real World?”

Brian pulled out a book from his pocket. A Bible. “Well, we know that this world, this reality, isn’t all there is. He’s told us about what really is, in here. ‘By faith, we know that the worlds were framed by the Word of God’. I’ve learnt that if I keep on studying His words in here, my mindset will be based on that, just the way He wants it. Like when He tells us ‘we’re seated in heavenly places in Christ’, we must trust and believe that, even when it doesn’t look like it. It’s the only way we can live the way He wants us to, in what we say and do, by His power and grace at work in us. It’s all in there.”

Jerry could not mask his excitement. It was as if this man had seen what he had seen. And all of this had been in the Bible all this time? “Where are you, really?” He remembered the Writer’s question. I’m seated with You in heavenly places, and my hand is in Yours.

“What’s that?” His other guy came out from the back. “Take five. I’ll be over in a moment.” He nodded and went back inside.

“So, is prayer like, when you talk to God?” Jerry asked. “Kinda like, breaking the fourth wall?”

Mm-hmm.”

“Even when you’re not asking anything?”

“It’s communication. Like a relationship. The more you interact, the more you become like the other person. And He speaks to us too. It’s not all the time we hear Him audibly. Most times, we don’t. But it’s kinda like a nudge inside. He speaks in our hearts. So we can become more like Him.”

“So we can be like the Light in the Darkness.”

Brian chuckled. “I like your philosophical take on these things. Christ used such imagery too when explaining His points. And you’re right. The Darkness controls the hearts of the very people we are here to rescue and bring to the Light. We must … let it shine.”

Jerry leaned back and relaxed. So then, it had been true. He had really experienced all of this. He really had seen the Light. Christ, the Author Himself, living in our world. Think about reality in this sense made him feel so … tiny. There’s so much more at work here than meets the eye.

But that also meant Gigi was gone. And that his Father was with Him.

And that meant that the Darkness was still real. And Kraven was still out there.

“So, what am I supposed to do now? Do I just up and go after Kraven now?”

Brian was staring back at the road where a policeman was approaching them. “Kraven? Who’s that?”

Jerry turned to see the cop. Uh-oh.

He flashed his badge. “You’re under arrest, mister.”

Jerry squinted. “Clint?”

Clint Barker cocked his head with a coy smile. “That’s what I would say if I was gonna arrest you, but I’m not. Where you been, Mr. AWOL? Morning, sir.” He tipped his hat to Brian, who simply chuckled nervously.

“AWOL?” Jerry asked. “Didn’t you hear? I got the sack.”

“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Get in the car. Chief’s waiting.” He tipped his hat at Brian. “Sorry for interrupting, sir. But your friend here’s trying to play hooky.”

“Wait, Chief?” Jerry asked. “As in, he wants to see me?” This could not be good.

Clint looked confused. “What’re you talking about?”

Jerry turned to Brian. “I’m sorry. Gotta go … sort some things out. It’s not what it looks like.”

Brian nodded. “You’re always welcome. Hope you can come by sometime.”

“Yeah, I’d like that.”

As they walked towards the squad car, Clint nudged him. “Were you actually in church? Now that’s new.”

“Good to see you too, Clint.”

”So what’s your deal, man? Haven’t been able to get through to you since last night.”

“Clint, I’d tell you, but, then, you’d think I was crazy.”

———-

A couple of minutes later, they arrived at the precinct.

“You were right,” Clint said. “You’re crazy.”

“Clint?!”

“It’s OK, I’ve always thought you were crazy, Jerry. But I still love you, man. I don’t know about all you’ve told me, but, whatever it was seems to have made you happy. I think I like the new you.”

“It really happened, Clint. I couldn’t have made it up.”

Clint turned to him. ”Jerry, there was no operation last night.”

Jerry blinked. “What do you mean?”

“It was a dream, Jerry. Just ask anybody. There was no threat. No terror on the streets. No Taser. You, of all people, should know that. It was all in your head.”

Jerry squinted. “What about the graffiti? The curfews?”

“Jerry, don’t you think it’d have made the papers if such a thing happened?”

Jerry grabbed the dailies from the dashboard. A cursory scan turned with nothing. No news about the threat or anything. Nothing.

“This is all crazy. Clint, you know I’m telling the truth, right?”

“Well, for one thing, I had a good night’s rest last night. Just ask my wife.” Jerry was not sure if he was just seeing things, or if he noticed the bags under his eyes. It would be no use pointing it out to him. He would not listen. What was going on?

“But you remember Gigi?”

Clint shrugged. “Who’s Gigi? You’ve never mentioned her to me.”

“But … you told me to go with her to dinner last night.”

Clint patted his back. “You must have really had an interesting night, bro. Don’t worry, it’ll pass.” They exited the car and headed for the building.

This was frustrating. He did not know what to expect when they finally met the Chief. Would the man also have forgotten about last night? He could only hope…

God help me. He had never taken prayer seriously. But now, with all he had seen, this took on a new meaning.

HI THERE.

Jerry turned. There was no one around. Clint arched a brow. “What?”

“I thought I heard a voice.”

Clint rolled his eyes. “Hey, Jerry, wake up. This is the real world.”

No it’s not. He was certain he had heard a voice.

HOW’RE YOU DOING, SON?

And that’s when he got it. “Father?” he whispered. “Is that you?”

YES.

“Really?” This was what Brian had been talking about. “How come I don’t hear you all the time? I was beginning to think I was crazy.”

YOU NEVER TALK TO ME.

It dawned on him. “So, you want me to talk with You … as if you were here?”

I AM HERE.

Thinking about communicating with the Author of this script brought a chuckle to him. Clint turned from up ahead. “Are you coming or what?”

“I’m coming,” he quickened his pace.

“You know, I’m beginning to worry about you,” Clint said. “It may have been a realistic dream, Jerry. But don’t let it make you a freak.”

“Don’t worry about me, Clint,” Jerry said. “I’m alright.”

The others at the precinct greeted Jerry, and some wondered why he had not come to work. He just smiled and nodded, wondering what Chief wanted with him. Beyond all this, he wondered when Kraven might come after him, or if he will. He had to confirm what was really going on. Jerry hurried to the dispatcher’s cubicle. “Hey, Hal!”

Hal looked up. “Jenson. Why aren’t you in uniform?”

Jerry smiled. “Long story. Hey, I just wanted to confirm. Didn’t you hear anything about the Taser last night?”

Hal arched a brow. “Yeah, he had a tea party with Bigfoot and Nessie.”

“C’mon, Hal.”

Clint showed up beside him. “Hal, he’s having a moment. Just ignore him.” Hal nodded knowingly, as if he understood.

“Hey, what’d you mean by a ‘moment’, Clint? I’m not crazy.”

But that’s when he noticed a familiar face behind the waiting desk up ahead. He stopped, nudging Clint. “What’s that kid doing here?”

Clint turned. “Who? Him? Caught him earlier this morning, selling dope. Put up quite a chase.”

Jerry squinted. “Isn’t he the one we brought in yesterday? Jamie?” The kid raised his head to stare at him, no recognition in his eyes.

In that moment, everything around Jerry disappeared in a flash and he was in the dark laboratory again. He was staring at Jamie, only this time the kid was lying against the wall, lifeless. He was connected to the system by his head. As realization dawned on Jerry, he blinked and it was all gone. He was back in the precinct, staring at the boy. What just happened?

“Yesterday?” Clint was saying. “Jerry, I’ve never seen this kid before. But he reminds me a lot of you, all criticizing and tough and all, though you can tell he’s a wimp on the inside. Not that I’m saying you’re a wimp or anything, but…”

But Jerry was not listening to him. “Did you see that?”

“See what?” Jerry turned to stare at Clint. Flash! He was back in the lab again, but this time it was Clint by the wall. The feeling of apprehension overtook him again as he watched his friend asleep, connected to the system. Lifeless. No humor on his face any longer. Flash! It was gone. Oh no, not Clint too…

Clint was staring at him, incredulous. He shook his head. “What’s up with you, man?” he asked. “Thought you were on the wagon again.”

Jerry realized that there was more at work here than he thought. These people were connected to the system, and they believed whatever it made them believe. But they were not just anonymous entities or statistics. ‘These people’ were people he knew. Like Clint, his friend. Kraven had erased all their memories of last night. How did he do that? He did not know how to bring this up, because Clint was staring at him, worried. “Clint, we brought this kid in for selling dope yesterday.”

Clint stared at him for a moment, was about to say something, then stopped, shaking his head. “You sure you don’t wanna see a therapist?” Clint finally asked.

  It’s the Darkness. It’s controlling their minds. They really don’t remember anything from yesterday.

“This is crazy,” Jerry said, running a hand through his head.

“Tell me about it,” Clint muttered under his breath.

YOU SAW THAT, DIDN’T YOU, SON?

Jerry did not need to stare around anymore. He knew Who was speaking to his heart. “I did. It … wasn’t very nice.”

THAT’S THE REAL WORLD.

“So the Darkness has got them, like it got me?”

Jerry thought of Jamie. If Kraven could alter their memories, Jerry wondered how many times Jamie had really been arrested. And the kid would not even know it. Or how many times Grace had really come to town. It was sad, realizing there was so much evil out there, controlling Towne. Controlling the people.

They were now approaching Chief’s office. “What’s gonna happen? What do I say to him?”

IT’LL COME.

“Just say you slept in, or something,” Clint replied. “It’ll go on your record, but with luck he’d let it slide.” He knocked. “On the other hand, let me do the talking.”

Jerry simply nodded. Communicating between two worlds was quite interesting, but a little strange too.

Baynes stared up at them from some paperwork on his table. “Jenson. Barker. Take a seat.”

Jerry stared hard at him as he sat. The man did not bat an eye. It did not surprise him that the man had forgotten all about last night as well.

Clint tried to keep Jenson from replying. “Sir, he had a very long night out and—“

Baynes held up a hand. “Jenson, we’ve been expecting you.”

Jerry kept staring in his face. “I must apologise, sir. I had quite a … uh…”

“A night of self-discovery,” Clint hurriedly said. Baynes gave him a look. “He’s had a very terrible week so far. He needed the rest.”

Jerry thought he should be frank. “I thought you’d fired me last night.” Clint did a face-palm. There, he had put it on the table.

Baynes looked genuinely surprised. “Fire you? Now, why would I do that?”

“Because I was going after Kraven Moore.” Baynes squinted at him.

Clint tried to save the moment. “See, he had this weird dream last night…”

Baynes shook his head. “You’re not one of those conspiracy nutcases now, Jenson, are you? Everyone pins some sort of evil plot on this Mr. Moore. But until proven guilty, that guy’s good in our books.”

But Jerry knew more. Baynes worked for Kraven and was protecting his tail. Not only that, but he had also honestly lost any memory of their encounter last night. The only file with all their investigation was gone. Kraven had emptied the recycle bins, so to speak. The thought was enough to make Jerry’s skin crawl.

And Clint did not even remember any of this, or of their prior investigation.

Jerry scratched the back of his head. “I, uh… I’m sorry, sir.” Baynes was also being controlled by the system. Jerry did not see the laboratory this time, but he knew. Yeah, I truly am sorry.

Baynes simply nodded. “Besides, I can’t really fire you. You work for the government, not for me.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Take the day off, officer. You need it.”

Clint shook his head as they left the office. “You know, he’s right. You should get some air today. And get a new phone, too.”

Jerry smiled.  “Yeah, well … thanks, Clint.”

“So where’re you headed?”

Jerry stared back into the hall, where the other precinct staff were working. He was a cop at heart, and had always wanted to be one. If he got his job back, he wanted to do it with the best he’d got. Would he still go after Kraven? Should he?

“I gotta go somewhere first,” he said. “Something I need to do.”

———-

The cool breeze blowing across the landscape over the many tombstones gave a serene mood to the Towne Cemetery. Jerry never saw the need to take visits to the place where dead people lay. He was not even sure what he was doing there that morning; people did it in the movies, and it always was a deep emotional scene. But in real life … well, it was different. For him.

Perhaps it was because death had taken on a new meaning to him, now that he had crossed worlds.

The tombstones were side-by-side. Hayley Tamara Jenson. Marty Irene Jenson.

  He held two bunches of flowers he had picked along the way. But he just held them now in his hands. Those stones were not his family, he knew. Even if he dug into the earth, their bodies would have degraded by now.

Jerry inhaled. He still missed his wife and daughter. He still had regrets. He still wished he could do something more. But, there was a difference now. He knew he was different now. He was different. His past was over and done. Somehow, it just felt right to return to a place of significance between himself and his family, the ones he missed the most. Perhaps he was really here to say goodbye to all that represented his past. All he regretted. All that had held him down.

Thinking about it now, it felt unfair to make his wife and daughter represent all those things.

I miss you, Hayley. You too, Marty … I really wish I could change the past.

It might not be easy, but he knew he would find the strength to face the future. His Father had promised to be with him. The Father of all worlds.

He would hold on to that.

His family had lived under the control of the Darkness for long before it finally took them away. His friends were still stuck in that evil system. The Darkness would remain until that day when the Writer Himself came and blotted it out with His Light.  He could not break His own rules. But for now, He would fight the Darkness through people like Jerry, shining the Light.

He realized that this was his new mission. His friends. The people around him. Baynes Clint. Jamie. Everyone. He was to let the Light shine. It may not be by pushing a hand on their faces, though that would also be fun. It would be through his lifestyle and words. To brighten their lives, and let them see the Light at work in Him. That way, they would believe and then it can take them in, like it had taken him. And bring them to life. Igniting the Writer’s characters.

In one small way, he guessed that made him a ‘Taser’ too.

Like He had said, Grace had been written into every person’s story. As long as the Darkness remained, Grace would be there ever stronger, ready to save another soul and bring them to life.

——-

6:00PM

It was raining when Clint Barker parked his car at the Towne Post Office. The man at the door hurried over to his car, the package in hand. Getting the Post Office to leave someone with the package on an evening like this had taken a lot of phone calls. He was already late, as it was.

“Thanks, man,” Clint said. “You’re a lifesaver. If I didn’t bring those packages in today, my wife would kill me!”

“Nah, it’s not a problem.”

“Hop in.”

As soon as the young man was in the car, they sped off.

“So what’re my charges? I know they don’t pay you to wait overtime for lousy people like me. Sorry, I had to stay in at work. Some clumsy cases to deal with.”

The kid shrugged. “It’s OK. No charge. Another day, another smile on a customer’s face.”

Clint peered at him. “You’re alright, kid. So what’s your name?”

“Hanan.”

“You Indian?”

“Nah, I’m Jewish.”

“Nice to meet you, Jewish,” Clint said. That elicited a chuckle. “So what does Hanan mean? I know you Jewish folks always have meaningful names and stuff.”

He chuckled. “Well, I guess everyone does. It means Grace.”

Clint arched a brow. “Grace, eh? That’s quite … amazing.”

And Hanan smiled.

T Tonight

THE END

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5, NIV)

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 (NKJV)

Thank you all for following the story thus far, folks.

This story was God’s idea. And it’s been totally AWESOME!!!

More than anything, I hope you keep these words to heart, because they tell of the reality that is.

God bless you all. Keep the Light shining.

Let it shine, shine, shine

And it will chase away the darkness

Let it shine, shine, shine,

And it will chase away the night!

(from ‘Father of Lights’ by Petra)

RELATED ARTICLES ON THIS BLOG:

The Shadows Prove the Light

Grace Like Electricity

“Go, hug the Transformer!”

The Elevator

Advertisements

TASER | Episode 5: The Real World

WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! The series is approaching its finale. But, if you haven’t read the previous episodes, don’t feel left out. The links are right here.

Episode 1: The Cop

Episode 2: The Trap

Episode 3: The Ultimatum

Episode 4: The Alternative

And now … let’s get into the story, shall we.

The Real World

As the man awoke, his senses were suddenly pelted by numerous sensations. Memories and data waiting to fill his mind poured in.

He would not ask who he was. The people in his dream –or nightmare— had called him Jerry. Jerry Jenson, if he recalled correctly. He did not really think about this, he just knew. He was Jerry Jenson.

He had been sleeping, but it must have been for a very long sleep. His limbs felt numb. It would take a while before the blood returned to the parts of his body that were still asleep. How long had he been in the same position?

It was a laboratory, he could tell. Computer screens dotted the walls, connected by wires and tubing. Overhead fluorescent lights flickered ominously. The back of his head hurt terribly. Someone had probably been running some tests on him. Maybe that was when he had blacked out and dreamt of that hideous place called Towne. Why had that dream felt so real? Why did it still feel so important?

But what overrode all his sensations was the Light ahead. He was lying down in a dark room, with flickering fluorescent bulbs overhead, but there was a strong Light somewhere ahead and above. There were many others beside him, but they were still asleep. But he was enthralled by the Light beckoning from a deck above. The darkness in this room felt so hideous compared to that Light, that he wanted to get to it. Everyone knows that Light means safety, security, and probably food by a candlelit dinner table. But how he felt was akin to a man struggling up a pit for his life. He needed to get to the Light.

Something from his dreams popped up in his mind. A voice. Someone had said it.

“Run to the Light.”

That did it. With all the strength he could muster, he sprang to his feet. At least, that’s what he tried to do. His sleepy limbs did not budge. Come on! The more he stared at the Light, the more he felt a tingly excitement inside. He tried to exert more power in his limbs, but he still could not move. He gave in. There would be no moving until his limbs responded.

Suddenly, just when he relaxed, the Light shot out towards him. Literally! With a whoosh, a stream of Light burst down toward him and swallowed him whole. He gasped as he was yanked to his feet, and into the air. It sucked him into itself.

Now, like any other regular human, Jerry had never seen this kind of thing before. It was too fantastic to be true, but it was so real. He bit his lip to confirm, and sure enough, he felt the pain. It felt stupid to even doubt if this was real. He was actually flying in a vortex of Light!

Now he was rushing forward in this endless tunnel as if it was the most normal thing ever. It felt weird, but it was the good kind of weird. He could touch the Light all around him, feel it. It sent jolts through his body, but they were not painful. They were actually tickling him. He felt more thrilled than he had ever felt in his life. Ever! It was like a rollercoaster ride. The further he went, the brighter it was, and the more his excitement increased. He was hurtling towards the source of this Light, the point from which it was emanating. This could only get better.

He could hear voices, like there were others with him.  He turned, but there was no one else flying here. The voices persisted as whispers. When he turned, he saw the first of them.

A floating screen appeared in front of him. It was not really a screen, more like a display without the screen. It just floated a few feet ahead of him. Before the details even registered, he knew that this was not supposed to be here. There was a boy on the screen, but his face was wrinkled in a horrific manner. That expression was called a ‘frown’ back in his dreams … that were not really dreams at that. But then the boy looked so familiar. He looked just like someone from those dreams. Perhaps someone he saw very frequently … in a mirror…

And then it dawned on him … that he was the boy. All big and stocky, even at his young age. He saw himself in high school, enduring the bullying and name-calling of the kids around him. He remembered that moment well. But the scene had moved on. The young Jerry turned and ran his fist into the face of another boy, sending the latter to the ground with a bleeding nose. Ooo… that did not feel so good, watching it now.

But then another display popped up a few feet ahead. Hey, what’s going on? This time he was huddled in a corner, crying, where no one else could see him. Remembering that moment brought a lump to his throat. He had had many of those growing up. What was this place, bringing up scenes from his life?

And then another screen popped up, and another, and another. They just kept popping up, showing him scenes he remembered, some he had long forgotten. Some were wonderful memories, some were funny, and some were just painful. The day he got enlisted in the police academy, the day he got his first house, the day he finally got married to Hayley after years of asking and asking, the day his daughter was born, the day she accidentally threw up on Santa’s lap! He sniffed as his eyes watered, remembering that day. Marty had decided, anytime she remembered that event, that she was really ‘Claus’-trophobic! Ah, the memories.

But he noticed that, from behind him, the Darkness from the previous room was creeping up through this vortex, blotting out the Light. The scenes in front of him started to change. While Marty had been born, he watched as Hayley’s life ebbed away. As the darkness crept over, he felt the pain afresh in his heart. Other painful memories crept up, from things he experienced to things he had actually done. The numbness crept over his body, even as he tried to get away from it, thrashing with all his might.

And then he saw Marty’s body in that gutter, her hands bleeding from cutting, her eyes glazed. So terrible was the pain that he howled, but it got stuck in his throat. Marty… He had pushed her out into that world.

Those ‘dreams’ were not dreams, after all. While the experiences were true, it felt unreal compared to the world around him now. But this real world was not much better, apparently. The pain and regret he felt inside were further amplified by the darkness creeping around him here. He had not lived the best of lives.

Dear God, have mercy on me! Please …

But the vortex had been pulling him to its centre all this time, even as the Darkness kept creeping in. And as the Light grew brighter ahead, he saw where it was coming from.

There was a man suspended on a crossbeam, up ahead. If Jerry’s eyes were telling him the truth, the Light was coming from that man. He was bleeding all over. His face was contorted in a cruel mess as he screamed to the sky, or whatever was above. Jerry realized that a cry had been playing in the background along with the voices all this time. Now, that cry was at a fever pitch as this man on the crossbeams mouth was torn in pain.

He was the Light.

The screens that had been assaulting Jerry swept ahead with a whoosh, and surrounded this man. Suddenly, they streamed into his body. One by one, they disintegrated into tiny luminous particles and flowed into the body of this man. Jerry realized what was happening there. Every single one of them, the good and ugly moments of his life, poured into that man, and the man kept screaming into the sky. He was sharing in Jerry’s pain in this way. His face mirrored Jerry’s pain.

The darkness still surrounded Jerry, and the only Light in the room came from this man. This Man that was also the Light.

Suddenly, his eyes fell on Jerry. Whatever strength he possessed fell away as he stared into those disarming eyes. In that small moment, Jerry felt a small connection with the man. They shared the same moments and memories, the same joys and pain, the same guilt and regret. He had seen it all and experienced it all. Perhaps even more, for he looked totally horrible … and hurt. And he just stared at Jerry with his weak pained eyes.

No words were spoken. Jerry was only struck by the pain this man felt. He blinked back the tears. Why would this man, who was the Light, deliberately pull him and all his experiences to himself? All the Light had been rushing from this man, and had carried Jerry with it.

He was still surrounded by the Darkness, and the Light just stared at him. Jerry knew he wanted to get away from the Darkness… but he could not. His limbs were numb. He stared up at the Light. Was there a way—?

And with that, the man that was the Light closed his eyes and inhaled. The hideous displays poured into him with renewed force. The Darkness was swept along with it in large chunks, like cinder blocks from a volcano … and so was Jerry. Like a pin to a magnet, he was picked from his place and slammed into the body of the man that was the Light, and clutched his arms around him for dear life. The Light’s hands wrapped around Jerry as the Darkness poured into the man.

Jerry shut his eyes, sobbing as all his pain and guilt poured into this man. He cried as the Darkness tore in, even as he was wrapped in the arms of the Light.

It is finished.

  And everything came tumbling down around them. Finally. Until there was nothing but silence.

The laboratory was no more. Everything was gone.

In all this time, Jerry’s eyes were shut.

——-

  The first thing to evade his senses was a laugh. It started deep, and just kept increasing until it was a full-blown hysterical guffaw. Jerry tore an eye open. And it stayed open.

They were in a beautiful meadow, with the greenest grass and the bluest skies. Birds flew across the sky in marvelous formation, and flowers dotted the fields below. Hills rose to the horizon in the distance. But in the midst of all this, what overcame Jerry the most was the unexplainable feeling he felt inside.

Describing it in words we can understand may be quite difficult, I must apologise. But do you know that feeling that comes when the last bell has been rung, and school is over with only the summer vacation ahead? Do you remember the excitement and anticipation that overtook your heart in that very moment? Now imagine that feeling multiplied a thousand times … and if it was not ruined on the way home from school. He felt better than that. It was as if, for the very first time, he could breathe.

Am I in heaven?

He turned and saw the Man again. The Light. He was different now, in magnificent clothes. He did not look old, but his eyes bore the wisened look of one that had seen many ages. The laughter on his face was enough to make the saddest child laugh as well. Jerry found a chuckle developing from within.

The Man wrapped his hands around Jerry again, and carried him into the air, laughing. “You’re ALIVE!” he bellowed. “Finally! You’re ALIVE!”

As he set Jerry down, the former cop stepped away, dizzy, his heart dancing within him. “What happened? Sir?” He did not know what to call the Man, but it felt inappropriate not to recognize His authority.

The Man laughed again. “You’ve come to LIFE, that’s what happened,” He said. “Finally! Ha!”

Jerry shook his head in wonder. “I was … dead?”

The Man cocked his head. “Anyone in the system is dead.”

He remembered the people lying asleep along the walls in the laboratory. “As I was…”

“As you were. But not anymore, Jeremiah! Because I beat the system, you did as well. You LIVE! Finally!” He was jumping in excitement. In our world, watching a grown man jumping like that would have made Jerry feel embarrassed, but here it looked like the most normal thing. In fact, Jerry wished he could jump like that. The Man stopped and grabbed Jerry’s shoulders. “Now we can get into the Great Story!”

Jerry blinked. “The Great Story?” And then he realized it. He sank to his knees as the full weight of the moment dawned on him. It felt like a memory he had known for so long, but forgotten. “Lord,” he gasped. “It is You… It really is You!” The Man laughed, placing His hands on Jerry’s shoulders. “You’re the One that writes our stories. You wrote me and all the worlds to being.”

He chuckled. “Indeed.”

“All these years, I doubted if You were real, and … now I know.” The arguments he had placed in his minds against His existence all felt foolish now, staring into His eyes.

The Man that was the Light, that was the Great Storyteller, smiled. “You are My joy, Jerry. Because you believed in Me, you are now free from the captivity of the Darkness.”

Jerry could not believe he was in the presence of the One that had written him into being. The Great Writer of everyone’s story was staring at him. Jerry’s smile faded. “But, Lord, how did the Darkness come into Your story? I thought you were always good.”

“Indeed, I am. And, more than anything, I want my characters to live to the full forever. But I gave them the freedom of choice. It is a price I have had to pay, watching them choose the Darkness every time.”

“So all the bad things that happen…”

“Are the result of a world that chose the Darkness.” He pursed His lips.

“Even Hayley and Marty?” The Man nodded, with sadness on His face. As Jerry said their names here in the Real World, he did not feel the pain he had always associated with their memories. It was as if he were stating a fact, not with joy or sadness. Just stating a fact. “But … I saw the Darkness sinking into You. You destroyed it.”

“I took away the Darkness in you, dear one. That’s my way of defeating the Darkness, one character at a time, until that great day when it shall be smitten by My mighty hand.”

“Just like that.”

“Just like that.”

“But why can’t You just … write it all away? You’ve got the power.”

The Man smiled as he sat. “I cannot break My own rules, My son. It will remain as long as men choose it. But its days are numbered.”

Jerry felt like a child here, now seating with the One that penned his life to be. “It’s amazing, no one really believes you’re real down in your story.” Saying it here felt absurd, staring at the Man Himself. That was why He was the Light. He lit up the lives of His characters.

The Man arched a brow. “My story? We’ll get right down to that. But, even in your world, I slip in signs of my presence into the story. I light up the lives of my characters. And, for those like you who have come to life, my Light just keeps bursting forth. Though, of course, the Darkness makes me sound like a bad thing. Even in Towne.”

Jerry stared at him. “How?”

“You tell Me. You were a cop.” Jerry remembered it, but it was a distant memory. “Do you remember the one they called ‘The Taser’?”

Jerry’s eyes widened. How could he have forgotten about Gigi so soon? “I remember!”

He nodded, staring carefully into his eyes. “I wrote Grace into your stories – every single person’s story – to bring you to the Cross, the moment where I opened the portal from your World to Mine.”

Jerry shook his head, blinking. “What do you mean?”

“Whenever Grace was speaking, that was me talking to you. When I came into your world bodily, many years ago in your timeframe, I tore open the portal to Life, to My World. I did that, on that Cross, so that everyone can come here, into Life. Grace and Truth came through me. Now, in all times, Grace and Truth are always around to bring you characters to that portal; to that very same moment, so that you all may come to life.”

The images were forming in his mind as the Man spoke. Grace Verita. That had been her name. Verita, Latin for Truth.

“So she was not real?”

The Man cocked his head. “Are you real?”

“I think I am.”

“Well, she’s more real than you are. Unlike you all, she’s Me. Not all characters see her, you know. But she’s in every character’s story, waiting, ready to bring them to me. Not everyone chooses her way. The evil one always tries to make her look bad, like a terror, clouding their desire for me. He makes them think they’re already free.” He shook his head, staring into the distance. And a smile played on his lips. “But the Light still shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness has still not comprehended or defeated it. Nor can it. Ever.”

Jerry ran a hand through his hair, staring up at the sky. It felt good to be dead. To be free. To know that he was on the good side. To be alive with the Writer of his life. The Word, who was the Light.

He stood and beckoned for Jerry to join him. He led Jerry to the top of a hill, from which he could have a full view of the land below. There was a great city in the distance, and a river flowed from it, parting the land before them. Trees dotted the landscape, and various creatures grazed beneath. There were people too, flowing in and out of the City ahead, picking fruit and leading the animals. Everyone seemed so happy. It was unlike anything he had ever seen. It was what people in his world called ‘Heaven’.

“These are the many that have come before you, Jerry. They have defeated the Darkness through my power, and have come home to rest. This is your home too, Jerry,” the Man said. “So that where I am, there you may also be.”

Some people below waved at them. Jerry raised a hand. A chuckle formed in his throat. “Did you write this land too? You are the Light in this Real World as well.”

He nodded. “But it gets better,” the Man said. “Remember what I called the Great Story? To this moment, you have lived your own story, where Darkness reigned. Where you had no choice but to blindly follow the Darkness. But now, You are dead to the Darkness and truly alive; alive in Me. Now, you can live in My story. The Great Story.”

“Your Story?”

“You see, my Grace ignited you. Now, Grace and Truth are alive in you. The Light.”

Jerry stared at his chest. “The Light. Grace and Truth … meaning You?”

“Meaning Me. Now I am free to write your story the way I’ve always want to; the best way. Like I lived in your story through Grace, I will live in your story through you now. You will find strength where there was none before. The peace and love you need, and that the world needs, while shine in you and from you. Just like the Light. You will defeat the Darkness and ignite many, as the Light in the Darkness. Until the day I return and destroy the system.”

Jerry sank to his knees again. “I will forever be faithful to you, my Lord. But, must I return to that world again? Haven’t I already come home?”

The Man smiled and sat in the grass again. He patted the ground beside Him. “Come on, sit with me.” Jerry sat. “Do you trust Me?”

Jerry had never had a real father figure before. He felt like a child, staring in the eyes of the Man that was the Light. He nodded. “Yes I do, Lord.”

“Call me Father.”

Jerry nodded, overtaken by emotion in that moment. “You are my Father.”

“Don’t ever forget this moment,” He said, extending a hand to him. Jerry took it. “How does it feel?”

His hand was in the hand of the One that had penned him to life. “I feel … safe.”

“And you trust Me?”

“Yes, how can I not?”

“You know that I love you, right son?”

Jerry nodded, remembering Gigi using those words. “You know I love you, right bro?” Jerry smiled. “I love you too, Father.”

He nodded. “Close your eyes.”

And Jerry did.

——–

  Oh no! This was not supposed to happen.

He was back in the laboratory. The place shrouded in darkness. “Father?!”

WHERE ARE YOU, SON?”

Jerry turned around on the spot, looking for his Father. “Hello? Father, are you there?”

WHERE ARE YOU, MY SON?”

“I’m in the lab!”

The place was silent again. Jerry was scared, staring out in the darkness in the room. But now, he could see the place more clearly. Even the spot he had been picked from. Along the wall, on either side of that empty spot, more people lay still, asleep. Dead. Their heads were connected to the walls via cables. By each person, a screen showed different numbers, in varying percentages. The numbers were reducing.

This was what his sister had meant. I was hooked to the system. Like a mainframe computer system, these people were connected to the evil system of Darkness. It controlled them, and whatever it was downloading into their heads was killing them slowly.

He ran a hand over the back of his head. The pain was gone.

WHERE ARE YOU, MY SON?”

Jerry turned again. No sign of the Light. “I … I’m sorry for whatever I did wrong. Please forgive me, Lord. I don’t wanna be in this place.”

“DO YOU FORGET SO EASILY?” his Father said. “HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHERE YOU REALLY ARE? WHY ARE YOU AFRAID, MY SON?”

“Because of the Darkness,” he was going to say, but then the truth dawned on him. All he had just seen could not be a lie. He had actually seen the Light defeat the Darkness. He had been in the midst of all that. And hadn’t his Father just said that He was now alive in him?

“YOU MUST BELIEVE, MY SON.”

Jerry smiled, despite his environment. “I wanna believe.”

“SO TELL ME, WHERE ARE YOU, MY SON?”

Jerry closed his eyes, trying to feel what he was about to say. “I … I’m seated with You,” he said. “I’m seated with You in that field, in Your heavenly place, far above, and … and my hand is in Yours.”

There was a pause. “NOW YOU ARE READY. NEVER FORGET THAT I HAVE DEFEATED THE DARKNESS.”

Jerry felt on top of the world. My very own Father.

I LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I LOVE YOU,” his Father continued. “I WANT THEM TO COME TO LIFE TOO.THAT’S WHY I’M SENDING YOU BACK. IT IS A GREATER HONOUR THAN IF I BROUGHT YOU HOME IMMEDIATELY. YOU WILL BE ON THE FRONT LINES, SHINING MY LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS. A VIRUS IN A SYSTEM THAT MUST BE DESTROYED FROM WITHIN.”

His gaze fell on the meters beside the people. The numbers kept dropping. “What happens to them when the meters reach zero?” he asked.

When his Father responded, he sounded pained. It was good to know that his Creator had emotions, and was not the aloof being he had always imagined. “THE DARKNESS WILL HAVE THEM FOREVER. THEY WOULD BE DEAD BOTH IN THIS WORLD AND IN THE NEXT, FOREVER TORMENTED IN FIRE AND SEPARATED FROM ME.” He paused. “WE CAN IGNITE THEM, JERRY. WE CAN BRING THEM TO LIFE. THIS IS MY STORY.”

Jerry smiled. “It will be an honour and a privilege, Father.”

“I LOVE YOU, AND WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU, SON.”

“I love you too, Father.”

Jerry was awake on his bed. He was back in Towne.

TO BE CONCLUDED… in A NEW STORY

Tune in to the Series Finale!

If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ‘em.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless ya!

Thanks for reading.

TASER | Episode 4: The Alternative

WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! Emmanuel here! The nature of the plot of this story requires that you have read the previous episodes. So, if you have not, please read the previous episodes first. Just my advice.  Here are the links:

Episode 1: The Cop

Episode 2: The Trap

Episode 3: The Ultimatum

And now … let’s get into the story, shall we.

Title Block

Grace ‘Gigi’ Verita was raised in the Irene Williams Home for Orphans, and was loved by all. Her caring attitude endeared her to the staff and to the children too. With clever wit and an amazing sense of humour, she was always able to brighten anyone, it seemed. It was a wonder that no one adopted her through all those years. After years as the ‘big sister’ of all the younger ones, she joined the staff as an intern, since she loved taking care of children. Sometime after that, she finally got into college where she got her degrees in psychology. Now, a grown woman, she was spreading her wonderful charm into the dark world of the prison system, engaging in ‘restorative techniques’ in her therapeutic sessions with the inmates. This had been her life, to this day.

That was the Gigi that Jerry Jenson knew. Or thought he knew.

But all of that was crashing down before him on this night. For this was probably the longest night in his life, and one he would not forget easily if he survived.

For all he had ever known was changing before his very eyes.

The Alternative

11:48PM,

The Centre.

“Gigi?” Jerry blinked, staring at the lady before him. “Is th…that you?”

They stood in a triangle of sorts, with the table in the middle. Jerry stood against the far wall on one side, Kraven Moore stood on the other, and the Taser stood by the door, the only way out of this room.

She took a step forward but he recoiled. “Jerry, everything’s going to be OK. But you have got to listen to me.”

Is this a joke? He could still see the scattered hall behind her. She had single-handedly dealt with Kraven’s army of menacing thugs with— and Jerry was still having a hard time processing this— lightning from her hands? And here she was, telling him that everything would be fine, as though they were just walking in a park on a bright sunny day. Gigi?

“You know her?” Kraven asked, his voice betraying his anger and fear. The usually unperturbed influential drug baron and behind-the-scenes conspirator was clearly off his centre.

But Gigi was ignoring him. “Jerry?”

All the news reports he had heard came to him in that moment. The Taser has electrocuted many victims. The Taser has eluded all investigation. The Taser…the very same Taser, is my sister? It all made no sense.

“Jerry, you don’t have to panic.”

“P-panic? No, I’m n— I’m not panicking. I mean why should I panic? It’s not like there— there’s anything wrong with anything. It’s perfectly n— normal that my sister is a vigilante who’s just beaten huge thugs an— and shoots lasers from her hands. I can’t… I won’t panic…” He shrugged, but he could not control the jitters.

“I’ll explain everything, Jerry—“

“No she WON’T!” Kraven bellowed, the shotgun in his hands still pointed at Gigi.

She shut her eyes. “Kraven, you will shut it RIGHT NOW, or I will end your life here.”

“You can’t,” he said, panting. “We had a deal.”

“I have no deal with you, Kraven. The power you wield over their lives is only permitted because they chose you.”

“Yes!” he said. “They chose me, not you— AAAHHH!” The room was illuminated in blinding light again as a bolt of lightning struck the shotgun out of his hands and sent it barreling into the wall where it broke into pieces. Kraven stepped back blinking.

Jerry stared at her hands. There were no gloves, nothing to hide any electrodes or electrical connections. Just her bare hands. And they had just shot lightning. He clutched the wall with all the strength he could muster. “Who are you?” he asked.

Gigi took a step closer, concern on her face. “Are you listening, Jerry? Are you really listening now?”

She had asked that question earlier, at the diner. Jerry stared up at her, squinting in shock. “You’ve got lightning in your hands…”

“Jerry—“

“You’re… you’re the Taser,” Jerry said. “Everything I knew about you was a lie!” But then, he realized he had not really known her in the last few years. What had she really been up to?

“See why you shouldn’t trust her?” Kraven put in, before the Taser shut him up with a look. “I’m just saying. She’s a wanted criminal.”

“I never lied to you, Jerry.”

“You’re a wanted criminal,” Jerry repeated.

“Well, I have had bad publicity, thanks to that guy.” She motioned towards Kraven. “He’s made everyone fear me. But the battles I fight cannot be handled by the law.”

It was absurd, hearing the gentle Gigi talk about fighting battles. Jerry wanted to believe his sister, that somehow all of this made sense in some crazy way. She was the only iota of hope in this dark existence, but she had just beaten up a bunch of thugs. None of this made sense. “You … expect me to believe this?”

“Are you listening to me?”

“Of course I am!”

“The rules have changed, Jerry. Things have never been the way you thought they were. This …” She winced, considering if he could accept this. “This world is not … real.”

Not real? It did not sound as absurd as it would have under other circumstances. He had just seen lightning shoot out of Gigi’s hands. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t listen to her!” Kraven snapped. “She’s playing with your mind!”

Ignoring Kraven, she leaned closer. “Jerry, remember when we were kids, and we used to write those stories? Remember when we imagined if we were characters in a story someone else was writing?” Jerry remembered, but it all just added to the weirdness of the moment. Was this the same girl her had grown up with? “That’s like what this is. In the real world, you’re hooked up to a system, Jerry. Everyone is. But that system is evil; it’s the Darkness. The Darkness has you. And it’s killing you from within.” She pointed at Kraven. “It’s got people like him controlling your life. Only the Light can set you free. It must flood you.”

All of this was going against all he had ever held to be true. Jerry grabbed his head. “This doesn’t make any sense.” But then, it’s not every day you see lightning shoot out of someone’s hands.

“Jerry,” Kraven whispered. “She’s a freak. Don’t you see? Shooting lightning from her hands? With mutant powers like that, she should be locked away and studied. We gotta take her down!”

“Hey, I’m right here,” she intoned, waving. “I can hear you loud and clear, Kraven.”

Jerry thought about the reports he’d heard about the Taser. Rumors said he … or she electrocuted her victims. But there had been no evidence in Towne to this day. Where had those rumours come from?

“Are you gonna kill me?” Jerry asked. “Electrocute me?”

“The ignition will only give you a new life. Both here and there.”

“’There’ … where?”

“In the real world.”

Kraven shrugged. “You see what I was talking about? She’s totally bonkers.”

Jerry gazed at Gigi. She really was serious. “But what about my family? Or Marty,” he asked. “What about my pain and regret? What about the irritation and hate, and OPPRESSION that I feel? You’re telling me … that THIS … is NOT … REAL?!” In the release of emotion, he had raised his voice. He was now heaving.

She simply stared at him, sympathy etched on her features. “I’m sorry, Jerry. But it’s the Darkness that does this to you. You’re hooked up to the sys—“

“You keep talking about Light and Darkness as if they are … are …”

Living, breathing beings?” Kraven added. “She’s crazy! The only darkness in this room is in her head, where the bulb is out! But, of course, ‘that’s not real’ either!” he mocked.

“Jerry,” Gigi held his gaze. “I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already known. You know that darkness always comes with gloom and fear. But whenever you flip on the switch, the darkness flees and tries to hide as light invades the room. I came to flip the switch for you. In the end, it’s your decision. But please, run to the Light.”

That rang a bell somewhere in his heart.

“Don’t listen to her, Jerry,” Kraven said. “I’ve met these kinds of people before. She thinks she’s in a dream, and that the only way to wake up is to kill herself.”

Jerry turned to Kraven. “But if she’s so misguided, why haven’t you killed her already?”

Kraven’s eyes lit up. “You can make her leave. If you tell her to leave, she will. She would listen to you. Just tell her no, and she would let you be.”

“No!” that was Gigi.

Kraven placed his hands on Jerry’s shoulders. “I will forgive you for all your insults, and give you the power you desire. I am lord of this town, after all. Ask me anything you want, and I will give you, because of your courage in the face of this … lunatic. Just tell her to go, and she will. That is, if she really plays by the rules.” He smirked.

Jerry rose to his feet. Gigi was pleading with him with her eyes. He wondered why he had not seen this all before. Had he been so blinded for so long? And Kraven had just said the truth, right there.

“You just said I have the power,” Jerry said to Kraven. “You said that I alone can make her go away. But you can’t.” Kraven was silent for a moment. He was right. For the first time in a long time, Jerry felt freer. There really was a place, a very small spot, where he had sole control – the decision! Ha! It felt weird, being in the crosshairs of two people that could kill him for different reasons, but he had control over something, and he felt free. He turned to Gigi. “If she’s right, then I’ve been here, at this very spot, before.”

“You’re losing it,” Kraven intoned.

“Me here, you Kraven on one side, and …” he turned to her and gulped. “And her on the other. Anytime I’ve had to decide to do what’s right or what’s wrong, I’ve been here. To take a shot or not to, to say this or that, or not. I’ve been here. And I’ve always seemed to choose what’s wrong. There were times I made the right choices … but they never lasted. I always gravitated to the wrong side. I never had the power to do the right thing. And it cost me everything.”

Kraven shrugged.

“But, if there is another life, another chance for me to do the right thing … I want to take that chance.”

Gigi’s eyes lit up. “Jerry,” she whispered.

“She’s messing with your mind!” Kraven said. “This is the real world! She wants to kill you!”

“Can it, Kraven,” Gigi said.

“If she’s such a loon,” Jerry said. “Why aren’t you threatening her too? You’ve got nothing on her because she’s not under the law. The law you love to use to oppress the rest of us. I want to be free, like she is.”

Kraven was fuming. “So this is it? You will throw away your life for a chance that may not be true?”

“I want to know the tr—“

Kraven lowered his gaze to stare Jerry in the eye. “You’ll be running from the law,” he said. “And you know they’ll do whatever I tell them. You can never run away from me. I’ll hunt you down…”

“No you won’t,” Gigi put in. “Once he’s dead to you, you have nothing on him anymore. His slate will be clean, and,” she turned to Jerry. “You will find the peace you’ve been looking for.”

“NO!” Kraven was visibly frightened now.

“Whoa, whoa, back it up,” he said to Gigi. “Did you just say ‘dead’? As in I will die? For real?”

Her hands lit up, literally. Orbs of light surrounded her palms, crackling with static. She smiled. “Do you trust me, Jerry?”

He was gazing at the illuminated hands. This never got old. “I want to.”

“Don’t do it, Jerry!” Kraven shrieked. He reached for his gun, but it lay in pieces on the floor.

“Yeah, he’s always really wanted the best for you,” Gigi said sarcastically.

Jerry raised his gaze from her hands to the face of the woman he had known as his sister for most of his life. All that had happened that night seemed to have been headed for this very moment. And it was just him and his sister, or whoever she was. This ambassador of something … or Someone called the Light. “I’m scared.”

She shook her head. “I’m Grace. I’ve been sent by the Light to bring you to him. All these years I’ve waited, trying to get you to really listen. But Kraven’s always drowned my voice out. I had to use metaphors, to show you that I cared. I would never let you fall into his hands. If the Light has this chance to set you free today, Jerry, it would all be worth it.”

Jerry blinked. He was still unsure about all this, but he was certain it was the right thing. He inhaled. “I’m ready.”

She nodded, her eyes watering. “I told you that the time will come when you will have to run to the Light. The time is now. He’s waiting for you, Jerry.”

He nodded, watching her hand approaching his face. There were no electrodes or hidden electronic gadgets on her fingers. The crackling grew louder with each second, drowning out Kraven’s shrieks and protests. He realized that this could well be his very last moments.

“You know I love you, right bro?”

And her hand touched his face.

The electricity coursed through his body, reaching to his feet. All he could see was light, his ears filled with its crackling. Somehow, in some way, he was certain that he was the right thing.

The last thing he saw was black.

———-

Kraven stared at the body of the big man on the floor. The one he called the Taser stood on the other side. He exhaled. Another one had escaped his talons. But there was still a chance he had not really escaped. Many saw the truth, but not all accepted it. Such is the heart of man.

He gazed on the face of the one he had fought for so long. “Why do you persist?” he asked. “They are not aware that they are captives; they don’t even want to be freed. Men love the Darkness! Why must you always try to rain on my parade?”

The enemy named Grace, who the man had called Gigi, smiled. “No matter what you do to stop me, I would shift worlds for the sake of one soul, so that he or she can come to the Light.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED… in THE REAL WORLD

 

If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ‘em.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless ya!

Thanks for reading.

TASER | Episode 3: The Ultimatum

WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! Emmanuel here! The nature of the plot of this story requires that you have read the previous episode. So, if you have not, please read the previous episode first. Just my advice.  Here are the links:

Episode 1: The Cop

Episode 2: The Trap

Title Block,

 10:01PM

 Jenson Residence.

It was the worst of times; it was the worst of nights.

For Jerry Jenson at least. Not everyone that has lost everything just like he had could muster up the strength he still possessed. And even that was slipping away.

He sat on the doorsteps of his apartment, a very strong drink in his hands. If he was drowning he might as well go down with a blast, right? Nothing made sense to him anymore.  Even his attempts to do what was right all seemed to end badly. At every turn, reality stood in his face and shut him up.

He had gone out to rid the city of the Dope problem. He thought he was really making a difference, helping the Towne’s youth by rooting out the man behind all this, Kraven Moore. But not all was black and white in Towne, apparently. Even the police were beholden to Moore, and those that stood up above the herd like Jerry were weeded out. He could not even call Clint Barker, his best friend, mostly because his phone was history.

This was a night of nights in his career. What cop would not want to be out on the streets on a night when the elusive vigilante, the Taser, might strike? But he was no longer a cop. He was fired. He could not even report the people involved in this conspiracy… for he too had some incriminating history. The narcotic kind. His life was over.

He exhaled, trying to think of a reason why we was not a loser. Bah, fat chance!  Great, he had failed as a father, failed as a cop, he could not report this stuff to anyone … and he was still trying to think of a reason why he was not a loser?! What was he even thinking?

I can’t do the right thing, Marty. I can’t do anything right.

He sniffed and stared into space. Wow, what a day it had been. What a day indeed…

 What a day indeed…

Only one thing made sense there and then: he was a dead man already. If he was going down, he would not go down alone.

  He examined the revolver in his hands. It glistened in the moonlight. There would be more than one killer out there tonight. Only this one would be out for vengeance.

For Marty, his daughter that died from an overdose. For his job, and all that he had lost. For his life.

There is no redemption where I’m going tonight.

  I’m coming for you, Kraven Moore.

The Ultimatum

11:32PM,

Knox Road

Most of the cops out that night probably knew nothing about his dismissal so he had free passage on the roads. Most just waved at him as he passed by. He did not see or acknowledge them because he was operating on hyper-energy now.

He was high, but did not even feel it. He told himself that he had no choice, that he could not do it on his own. He was burying himself, he knew, but this might as well be the last night of his life. He was going.

I’m sorry, Gigi. I’m sorry you put so much faith in me. But in the real world … not everything works out well.

Finding Kraven was not as hard as one might assume. Jerry had always been working this angle, questioning detainees, and narrowing down Kraven’s location down for the day he would need it. Little did he know that such a time would be sooner than he expected, and under different circumstances. He was not here for an arrest, but for vengeance. Rumor had it that Kraven spent Friday nights at his luxurious complex, The Centre, Towne’s largest and most secret casino and hotel. Most people did not even know it existed, but only those in Kraven’s circle did. And, as Jerry was now realizing, that circle was much larger than he had ever imagined.

He parked across the road from the dark block. No police patrolled this part of Towne. The building looked ordinary to the untrained eye, but two huge men in suits and specs stood guard at the door. He considered taking them out at this distance, and rushing in.

What’re you thinking, Jerry?! You’re not a killer! You don’t even know what’s waiting for you on the inside.

He was operating on adrenaline here. All reason was gone, and for some reason, that did not feel like such a bad thing.

He slammed the car door behind him and walked across the road. If it came to fisticuffs, he was certain he could take out these men. He prepared to pull out his gun if the need arose.

The bouncers stepped forward and accosted him. They tried to stare him down, but Jerry was big enough to stare them in the eye; unfazed but wary. “State your business, foo’,” one of them said. Under other circumstances, Jerry would have dressed the Mr. T-wannabe down. He was not even black, for goodness’ sake!

But Jerry had not thought this through enough. He blurted out the only thing that came to mind. “I’m here to see Kraven Moore.” There, he had signed his death certificate. He placed a hand near his holster, concealed within his jacket. He could not tell what was going on in their minds because their eyes were hidden behind the shades. This is it.

They stepped aside and opened the door, leading into a dark stairway. Perhaps he was dreaming again. Were they actually letting him in?

He stepped in, and the door slammed shut behind him. He had actually survived that. In the stillness that followed he heard the boom-boom of music coming from beyond. He inhaled and took a step forward. There was now no going back. He trudged on, as the music grew louder. At the bottom of the stairs, a veil opened for him to enter into a crowded hall. A sea of humanity danced to the music blaring in the hall. Some men and women stood around tables scattered in the corners of the room, gambling in card games, some played darts, some at the roulette tables.

“Welcome to Centre, sir,” a man in a suit said. “How may I be of service?”

“I’m here for Kraven Moore,” he repeated.

“Right this way,” the man said, and he led him down through the crowded hall.

The alarms in his mind were at fever pitch. This was all just too easy. Why had no one searched him for weapons so far? Were they expecting him?

The air was acrid with some odours. Self-conscious, he placed a hand over his holster as they made their way through the sea of people on the dance floor. The crowd was so thick, he could barely breathe. They were young men and women, teenagers, adolescents. It dawned on him that, had Marty lived, these would have been her age mates. These people danced with abandon, their eyes glazed. Like zombies. Intoxicated. Towne was in a state of emergency out there, but these ones were dancing away in secrecy, under the influence. Kraven’s mindless minions.

There’s no turning back now.

They got to a wooden staircase and the man stopped, halting him. Jerry gave him a look.

“Master only take one guest at a time, sir,” he explained in his limited handle of English. He had to shout because of the music.

“So he’s here?”

He nodded. “He just beyond curtain!”

Jerry squinted at him for a moment, and nodded. Suddenly, two men in suits and dark shades burst out of the curtain beyond bearing what he guessed was a body covered in a sheet. As they passed, Jerry noticed a fresh drop of red on the end of the sheet where the head would have been. None of the men stared at him as they moved. Jerry held his breath for a moment. Kraven was certainly there, and he was a terrible man. This is an ugly place. Kraven is a murderer.

So this was it. He felt sick. He was actually finally going to meet the man, Kraven Moore. In the flesh! What had been just a name on paper for so long was finally becoming a reality. He walked cautiously. One step after the other. And another. And another.

He stared back at the crowd below. So many people, minding their own business. This was a cesspool of all that he stood against, yet here he was. He placed his hands on the velveteen curtain ahead.

God, please forgive me for this… if You can…

  Whoosh! The curtain swung open to reveal a small room padded with walls. The ambience was entirely different from the hall behind him; very quiet. A long couch sat behind a large circular desk. And there seated beyond, was a tall man with white hair in a dark suit.

“Ah, the prodigal son has returned,” he said calmly, a smile on his lips.

Jerry blanched. Where were the guards? Why was he alone? What was really going on?

The man’s smile vanished. “Well? You’re here, and I’m here. Pull out the gun, we haven’t got all day.”

This was simply stupid on so many levels.

But he swung the gun out of the holster anyway and pointed it at Kraven. Just like that. This moment he had imagined all night long was finally playing out. The gun was in his hand, and he was pointing it at Kraven Moore. The Kraven Moore. Just a trigger away from justice.

Kraven simply stared at him, emotionless. Jerry knew that he should pull the trigger, but he just stood there. All the memories that had plagued him rushed to the surface. Marty. This was the beast that had caused everything. Kraven Moore was in his sights.

What’re you doing here, Jerry? What’re you doing here?

“Can’t pull it, can you?” Moore said with a sneer in his voice, a smirk on his face. “You can’t pull the trigger on me because you don’t have it in you.” He spoke so slowly and soothingly, it sunk into Jerry’s soul with every word. “Because you’re spineless. Weak. You haven’t the power to control your world, and you want to fight for that.”

Jerry was suddenly perspiring. His hand was still extended with the gun pointed at the baron.

“You have never been free, Jerry,” he said soothingly, that wicked smile on his face. “And you never will. You will never find the peace you seek until you accept that truth.”

Jerry was heaving now. Why couldn’t he just pull the trigger on this monster? What was wrong with him? This was his moment.

“The values you hold so dear never stood up for you when you needed them,” Moore said, staring up at him, unafraid. “Like grass in a furnace, they withered away … in the face of true power. My power.”

He stood up and stared straight into his eyes. “I can help you, Jerry.”

You’ve helped enough. And ruined my life. He wanted to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth. This was getting frustrating. Too frustrating. He yelled in anger and pointed the gun at the roof. BLAM! There, straight at Kraven…now! But he couldn’t shoot at him. Aaargh!!!

Kraven was still smiling. “Alright, enough with the ceremony. Put that toy away and let’s get down to business.” Jerry was angry as ever, his face wet. He would have grabbed Kraven and strangled him if he had to, but he couldn’t. “Now.”

For no apparent reason, there would be no shooting the baron. Jerry lowered his hand, whimpering in anger and frustration. His gaze never left Kraven’s sneering eyes. I’m going to kill you, Kraven. You’ve ruined my life…

Kraven sat. “Please,” he pointed to a seat on the other end. Jerry sank to his seat.

You can’t kill him. He’s controlling you.

Moore just never lost that annoying grin from his face. “I’m sure that, by now, you know that I orchestrated everything to simply … invite you here. Pretty ingenious, don’t you think? From Jamie’s arrest, to Baynes… oh no, wait, wait! I forgot about Marty!” He dragged the name out of his mouth with a wicked grin. “You blame me for that as well. My fame even precedes me, apparently.” He bit into a fruit. “I would express my sympathy, but … well … that wouldn’t mean so much to you, coming from me.”

Jerry clenched his fists. Tears came to his eyes at the frustration he felt.

Kraven lowered his voice. “It burns you, doesn’t it? To have no power to control your life like you want?” He poured a drink into a glass and offered it. “Drink?” Jerry did not move.

Moore slid it to him and poured his own glass. “You lack the strength to do the right things you want to do. You don’t have the strength to stop yourself from doing those things you don’t want to do. Especially when the low … depressing times come up.” He paused and stared into his eyes. “The memories of Marty. The drugs and alcohol… You know, Jerry, it’s like we’ve known each other for so long yet we haven’t even met! All that guilt and pain you feel…” He chuckled. “I am totally responsible for all that. Your daughter experimented with my drugs. And all this time, you’ve been after me. It’s OK; you don’t have to feel behooved to thank me.”

Jerry squinted at him. “To thank you?!”

“For opening your eyes to the truth.”

“You ruined my life. You killed my daughter. You took my job away from me. My life…my…”

“Shhh…shhh… it’s OK, you’ll be fine.” Kraven took a drink from his glass. “I want to help you, Jerry.”

“I don’t want your help.” A sob almost clogged his throat, so it came out as a whisper.

“Oh, but you haven’t heard my offer. Here it is.” He cleared his throat. “It is no secret that I am lord in Towne. It took you two years to figure that out, I know. And I didn’t need to say it again, but I will anyway, because I can!” He chuckled. “See? I am the overlord of every living breathing human in this Towne. In the end, they all depend on me. You too can be a part of this, Jerry.”

“I will never work for you!”

Kraven laughed. “Never work for me? Who are you kidding?! You’ve always worked for me, Jerry Jenson. Get that into your thick skull and this would all make sense.”

“Kill me right now.”

Kraven shook his head. “Listen. I take good care of my friends. Even when they get in trouble with the law, I get them out. Kraven always looks out for his friends. But for those that betray me, I have my ways of getting the law to deal with them.” Jerry’s eyes widened at the realization. “There is no one you have ever taken into custody that was not sent there by me. In the end, no one ever leaves my authority.” And he smiled again.

“This is my bargain,” Kraven said. “I want you to be my friend. I will give you your job back, if you want it. I will place you wherever you want to be. You will have access to all the money, all the girls, to all you could ever want. You will never remember your pain again, because of the bliss that will come from our … partnership.”

“You’re a monster,” Jerry whispered. “I could never work with—“

Kraven slammed his fist on the table. “You have nothing to live for! Your life has been taken away from you. You’re nothing but a mindless automaton in the stream of my power. I’m offering you an opportunity to come up, out of the abyss, and into my realm. I am offering you power … and control. I am offering you your very life.”

Jerry stared up at him, his eyes misted. The sobs were already coming.

“It has always been in my hands, you know. I could have killed you in your very own house anytime I wanted. But I want you to come to something deeper. Something bigger… and better.” Kraven smiled. “This is my bargain.”

Jerry was visibly crying now. He lowered his head and stared at the table. He was in the belly of a whale, and was sinking to the depths. He could never get out. He was trapped…

There was no way he was leaving that place alive, he knew. He had nothing more to live for.

The lights went out. Jerry stared up, gasping. Is it too late? He stared up at Kraven, but he could not see in the dark. Dear God, please make this painless.

A scream from the hall carried through into the room. Shouts and scuffles, and the breaking of tables. Something was going on there. The lights flickered overhead, making Jerry blink. He was still alive. Thank God, he was still alive.

Another scream. Then footsteps. The curtain flung open, and a grunt peeked inside. “Sir, it’s the Taser!”

It felt like cold water was poured down Jerry’s gut. The Taser! Uh-oh, this was not good. Not at all.

“The Taser?” Kraven asked. When Jerry turned he saw a very strange sight. For the first time, Kraven was visibly scared. “The Taser is in my house?” The Taser was, apparently, one person who was not under Kraven’s control. And he was afraid?

The grunt looked back just in time as he was pulled into the hall, screaming. He was grabbing on to the velveteen curtains, so they were ripped as his body was pulled away. The hall beyond was upside down with broken tables and chairs. The patrons were gone, and only the many bodyguards in black remained to fight the vigilante. The music was also gone.

Concealed in a jacket, the vigilante had been on the steps, but he sprang back into the air and descended on the men below. Jerry realized that he could beat for an escape in the scuffle. But he had not intended to come out alive. He had come for Kraven. Was it even possible…?

He searched the room for his gun, but he saw that Kraven already had it in his own hands. If Kraven was scared of the Taser, then he was all that they had thought and much more.

A sense of familiarity and fear rushed through Jerry as he stared at the vigilante, the elusive stranger whose likeness had never been captured before. The flickering lights hurt his eyes, but he was almost sure he was seeing the impossible below. Static flashed from the vigilante’s hands as he struck the guards.

Jerry was about to doubt it when the Taser finally thrust his hand out, releasing a bolt of lightning that sent a huge guard sailing into the far wall. Jerry’s jaw fell open. Had he just seen that? Again, another flash. Jerry turned to Kraven. The baron had already gotten another weapon, a shotgun, ready and was fiddling with it, fixing the cartridges. Where was the other gun?

Jerry, you should not be here. Strange things are happening.

The Taser was looking up at them now. Uh-oh. He slowly took the steps up to Kraven’s little room. Jerry hurried to the far wall, panting. No windows. No way to escape. Nowhere to run.

He stepped in. “I am here,” he said. The lights came back on. Jerry blinked. Kraven held the gun, pointed at the Taser. “I am here for you.”

He was not tall or stocky. He was even shorter than Jerry. But his heart still did flippity-flops as he stood in the presence of the most wanted person in Towne. This was the little man that Towne’s Finest had gone out to arrest, with lightning in his hands. Jerry thought of the rumors of how he electrocuted his victims. No way…

“I thought I told the police to deal with you,” Kraven said, anger in his voice. But was that fear as well.

The vigilante removed his hat and stared at them past dark shades. “Not to be rude, but I wasn’t referring to you,” he said. Jerry gulped. He was not going to leave that place alive after all, was he?

And wasn’t the Taser’s voice strangely high for…? And that gait, what was up with that?

And that’s when Jerry saw it. The vigilante’s long dark hair sank below his gently sloping shoulders… But that could not be right. He was a…

“You’re a woman?!” Kraven screeched in shock.

“I warned you to be careful around these people,” she said to Jerry, removing her shades.

That was the moment Jerry knew the world was going to end. For before him stood the only woman he could never mistake for anyone else. The voice. Those piercing green eyes. It couldn’t be…

“Gigi?”

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED… in THE ALTERNATIVE

 

If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ‘em.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless ya!

Thanks for reading.

TASER | Episode 2: The Trap

WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! Emmanuel here! The nature of the plot of this story requires that you have read the previous episode. So, if you have not, please read the previous episode first. Just my advice.  Here’s the link:

Episode 1: The Cop

Title Block

Reports within the county corroborate the existence of the anonymous vigilante known to law enforcement forces only as the ‘Taser’.

  The vigilante has been known to go after criminals over the last decade. His ostensibly well-intentioned reason for not working along with the police or the Justice Department is reminiscent of the antiheroic comic book vigilantes of popular culture. The moniker attributed to this vigilante, analogizing him with the trademark stun gun used by the police, is based on rumors claiming that he terminates his victims by electrocution. While this method of crime-fighting is inhumane and outside the boundaries of the law, the Taser has thus been branded persona non grata with the public, and is declared wanted by the police.

  No one knows when or where, or even why he might strike next…’

From the Towne Times

 The Trap

 

8:14PM

Quigley Diner in Towne.

Gigi’s surprise for his birthday was a breath of fresh air to Jerry’s otherwise gloomy weekend. He had not been expecting it, but in her characteristic manner she had set the stage, breaking the ice.

Strangely, dinner with his sister did not feel as awkward as he had expected. She did not beat him up, perhaps because she knew it was not what he needed at the moment. She just seemed glad to meet up with him again. When she mentioned his avoidance of her calls, and he had apologized, that had been the end of it.

It was then that Jerry realized how much he had missed his sister. No one else understood him as much as she did. She knew just the right questions to ask to make him speak. For any other person, that would be hard work because Jerry tended to prefer sarcasm to actually expressing his feelings.

He felt free to be himself here, not trying to impress her with stellar stories about his career as a cop. She asked about his wife, and Marty, and about life since then. It had brought a solemn mood to an otherwise happy reunion. It was not that it made him feel better, no. It was just that he had never known that he really needed someone to listen. Or that he really had a lot of stuff to say worth listening to, bottled up inside.

“So the whole ‘mean, big guy’ façade is your shield?” Gigi asked.

Jerry shrugged. “One could say that.”

“So … what do you think you’re protecting?”

He thought about that for a moment. “My sanity?” It was meant as a statement, but he was also asking himself. He shook his head as he chuckled. “I’m sorry, that makes me sound like a case.” He had not planned to say so much.

“No, no, Jerry. It’s alright. I’ll understand.”

“Really, the world is not as perfect as you’d want it to be. Sometimes you have to be tough to get some respect. You earn it. Pull your weight.”

“I see.” She sipped her juice. “But then, you know the other ‘tough’ guys are also trying to protect something.”

An image of the talkative Eddie actually taking a moment to think about something serious crossed his mind. He chuckled. “Nah…”

She shrugged. “I’m just saying. Everyone’s real on the inside. The stuff we see on the outside are just loads of layers to hide what’s going on inside. That’s the real person that feels love, joy … that’s got fears, that worries … the real you. When we expose that person, we feel vulnerable. We only do that to people we trust.”

She leaned toward him and whispered. “Everyone is struggling with something, Jerry. There’s stuff that bugs them, that makes them realize that they’re not so tough on the inside.”

Jerry thought of his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He always told himself it was just a low he sunk into when depressed, a secret burden he could deal with. He had chosen alcohol to keep him distracted from the cravings he felt for the dope anytime he was depressed. He took all that to keep him from dwelling on his regrets, from thinking of Marty and of his failure as a father. But in the end … it was all still there. He tried not to bat an eye as he stared back into his sister’s piercing eyes.

He shook his head. “Listen, Gigi, I’m a cop. It’s a crazy world out there. You have no idea the kinds of people I meet. Nutcases without a—“

“Actually, bro, I meet a very wide variety of people every day. I think I have a good idea the kinds of people you meet.”

“I’m sorry, I keep forgetting. You’re a prison therapist, right?”

Gigi cocked her head. “Something like that. I engage in … restorative techniques for the prisoners.”

Jerry remembered when Gigi used to bail him out whenever he was bullied. She had always had a way of commanding respect, even from the older bullies. It did not take a stretch to imagine her talking to huge, heavily-tattooed criminals and listening to them baring their minds during her therapeutic exercises. “Still, I doubt you’ve experienced what I have. It’s different on the frontlines. When you’re out after real dangerous criminals, all illusions of ideals are gone.”

Jerry was thinking about Kraven Moore. He believed that if he could legally prove him guilty, he could effectively make a difference. Get the Dope out of circulation. Deal with the problem. Redeem himself. He was out trying to do something. Yet everyone else on the force was certain he was getting into dangerous waters with this case.

“I may not know about the people you deal with,” Gigi said. “But I do know enough to be concerned.”

Jerry stared up at her. “I’ll be fine.”

“I mean it, bro. There’s more at work out there than meets even the keen investigative eye.”

He squinted. “You’re not talking about angels and demons and stuff, are ya?”

She paused to think about it. “There’s that too. But I’m talking about something much deeper.” She thought for a moment, making Jerry wonder what was on her mind. “Light and Darkness have always been at war.”

For some reason, Jerry’s mind went to the weird nightmares that had been plaguing him. The gloom and deadness he felt in his dreams never left him even after he awoke. Darkness. He avoided her gaze and shook his head.

“There’s a whole network of evil and darkness out there, Jerry. It’s what operates in the hearts of men. The Darkness. You can’t fight it on your own. Only the Light can.”

“Gigi, please, you know I respect you and all. But please, don’t bring God into this. I’ve tried it, been there, done that, yeah I even know the lingo. We grew up in the church, remember? But I’ve moved on since then.” He shook his head. “It didn’t work for me.”

“Jerry, this is not about going to some building or obeying some rules. It’s more than someone giving you a clean slate. It’s about God, the Writer and Maker of your life, giving you a totally new and different one.”

Images kept running through his mind. Thoughts he preferred to keep away. “Yeah, so I can totally mess it up again?”

Gigi stared at him, pursing her lips. Just when Jerry thought it would all end up in a stale staring contest, she said, “He’ll help you be what’s right. That’s the only way you can do what’s right.”

Jerry exhaled. “Well, He should just keep this wonderful plan coming.”

She placed her hands on his own, staring into his eyes. “I need you to listen to me here, Jerry. Are you listening?”

His gaze lifted from her hands to her face. “Sure.”

“Are you? Are you really listening?”

“Yeah, sure I am.” He was going to raise his voice, but it felt inappropriate.

She nodded, but she looked really serious. “Remember how in the movies, when a character’s dying, they usually call out ‘Whatever you do, don’t look into the light’.” He smiled at the reference. “You will see the Light one day, Jerry. Whatever you do, you must look into the it. Sure, it’ll draw you in. And probably end your life. But that’s the only way you’ll ever truly live.”

Jerry slightly arched a brow. While that did not make much sense to him, Gigi had seemed extremely serious there. She was definitely not kidding.

“I’m not dying anytime soon, Gee,” he said slowly. “I’ll be fine.”

Gigi rubbed an eye. “I’m really glad we met today, Jerry. I’ve missed this.”

Jerry was stumped. How could he express his own gratitude? She had just celebrated his birthday for him. Could she know the great import of what she had done? “No thank you. I truly am grateful. I mean, I honestly was not expecting to come here today … mostly because, well, it’s been a long time since we met an’ all. I was expecting this to be awkward but you just … blew me away with this … birthday thing. I mean, even after I … after I didn’t take your calls and or answer your text messages and stuff. It’s been much more … it’s been much better than I expected it to be and …” He caught himself and shrugged. “Thanks.” She looked amused.

Man, he had missed this. What had he been afraid of for so long? There was no use trying to impress or be good in front of Gigi. She knew him all too well. It was as if this moment would not end.

And that’s when the report came in.

His radio was chirping so he placed it on the table. Some officers were reporting suspicious sightings The dispatcher came on air, “… A possible attack is imminent. I repeat, the Taser might strike tonight.”

The chills of his normal regular life came crashing back with those words.

Jerry gasped. Uh-oh. Not the elusive vigilante…the Taser?!

He had heard numerous tales and reports about the Taser. The self-appointed purveyor of justice on lawbreakers had just left his calling card again. The graffiti. There had been reports of his activity in the surrounding area, but there had been no casualties in Towne so far.

More reports corroborating the announcement came over the radio. This was going to be one long night. On nights like these, there was intense activity in Town. All patrols would be focused on the rooting out of this self-acclaimed vigilante, who was considered nothing but a criminal.

When he stared up at Gigi, she was smiling. “I’m sorry, sis. I … I really wanna stay—”

“It’s OK—“

“I’ve had a really wonderful evening, I’ll admit…”

“I know…” The radio still chirped with more reports.

“But I’ve got to get back to work. There’s—“

“I understand, bro. Go.”

“I mean, thank you for—“

“Jeremiah Tyler Jenson! Go! Get back to work. Shoo.”

He stood and they embraced. “You’ll be alright, bro.” she said.

He certainly hoped so as he left.

  8:45PM

As he drove past, Jerry noticed that the Uptown Pub had been lit up with spotlights and cordoned off. A crowd had been evacuated from the building and was now standing outside the area taped off. Some officers were taking pictures of the writing on the wall. That had been the Taser’s signature ID ever since he started his professed rain on crime. It was said that he had assaulted many criminals, but the rumors said he electrocuted his victims, earning his popular nickname as a not-very-accurate description of his methods. He operated outside the law, and was therefore a target thereof.

The dispatcher came over the radio. “Dispatch for Jenson?”

“Over,” he replied.

“You’re needed at the precinct. Chief’s office.”

  Uh-oh. “Already on my way.”

Clint had warned about this. Funny how a great night could just be ruined by a meeting with the Chief. Gonna meet the principal…

Not surprisingly, the streets were more active this night with more police activity. Every street had the occasional flashing red and blue lights and wailing sirens.

The elderly police chief, Lenny Baynes, was speaking with a press crew in the parking lot when Jerry arrived. “The buildings have been evacuated, and citizens have been cordoned off from the perimeter.”

“Thank you sir,” the lady from TNN said. “But we have questions about the Taser himself.”

“Ah, well our investigations on this case have been as in-depth as possible, within available resources, ma’am.”

“Is it true that no one has seen the Taser’s face?”

“That is correct.”

“Not even sketch artist impressions?”

Baynes scratched the back of his neck. “The Taser is a very intelligent mastermind. He knows how to operate under the radar. No one, and absolutely no one, has come forward with an image or a description of an image that we can work with.”

“Not even the victims?” Baynes cocked his head. “Oh, I’m sorry, the victims aren’t … uh, alive. So, for all we know, we could pass the Taser every day and not know it?”

“For all I know, ma’am, even you might be the Taser.” That earned a chuckle. “But all security is on high alert tonight, and we can assure the wonderful citizens that they can be at peace. There has been no recorded death at the hands of the Taser in this town, thank God, but we are ready for the worst scenario.”

“What would constitute a worse scenario, Chief?”

Bayness chuckled. “Let’s hope we don’t see one.” He tipped his hat. “I would love to talk some more, ma’am. But duty calls. Just stay indoors tonight. Things could get really dangerous. Your faithful men in black and blue will cover the streets for ya.” And with that he walked away, waving off any further questions.

He motioned Jerry over. “Walk with me.” The latter prepared for the worst. He was not one to back down from a challenge. Baynes was a levelheaded man that could take a good explanation. But he did not say a word to him until they got to his office. On the way they passed a couple of staff in the reception and dispatch units, doing afterhours duty because of the imminent threat.

Soon, Chief slammed his door and motioned Jerry to take a seat. “Please.” He then sat in his high back chair. He placed a folder on the table and stared up at Jerry. He knew full well what that folder contained – all Jerry and Clint had gathered on Kraven and his criminal network— but then he had not been expecting less, had he? But was this really the best time for Chief to bring this up?

“What’re you doing, Jenson?” Baynes asked. He seemed really concerned, not angry.

Jerry stared at the folder, thrown off by this line of question. Sarcasm was always the easiest way out. “I’m currently sitting before you, sir.”

Chief did not bite. “Don’t push it. You’ve documented quite an extensive report of your crackdown on the drug dealers. You’re after something, Jenson. And you’re fueling it with all the energy you’ve got.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“No, it’s not a compliment. You’re on a rabbit trail, Jenson. And I don’t know if you’re gonna get out of this without acquiring some dirt. Or worse.”

Jenson leaned close to him. “Sir, I think we can get Kraven Moore. He’s the criminal mastermind in the under—“

“Do you know this for certain?”

“But I can prove it, legally. With documented evidence and witnesses.”

Baynes tapped the folder. “Your ragtag group of detainees?”

Jerry nodded. “Sir, Moore has a hold on our youth. He’s poisoning the lives and futures of young men and women, enslaving them through drug dependence. They’ll do whatever he tells them to. That’s why he’s so powerful, and the criminal element would still go on unchecked. If we keep ignoring this, sir, the risk is much too high. Lives are at stake.”

The chief stared hard at him and lowered his voice. “Is this because of your daughter, Jenson?” Jerry was stuck for a moment. He could not lose this case over emotional attachment, and Baynes was definitely playing that card. He simply shook his head slightly. “You do know that policy officially does not support your involvement in this investigation,” Baynes said.

“My daughter was not officially linked to Moore. This case has got nothing to do with her. “

“You would have a motive for retribution,” the chief said. “Revenge. Clouded judgment. But this is the police department, Jenson. We administer justice according to the law. I cannot allow you to go on with this, I’m sorry.”

Jerry sat back, considering a slightly different tack. “Sir, if it was your daughter, wouldn’t you do what I’m doing?” There, he had accidentally leaked his emotional attachment to the case. But was it not helping?

The chief leaned forward. “I’m gonna forgive you for that line, officer. Unlike you, I’m a good father. And my daughters have never been, nor will they ever be, junkies.” Jerry just stared at him, trying to contain the anger welling up within. “Jenson, I only want to help you here. We have no idea just how far Kraven’s influence goes. There are many on his payroll in Towne, people of great influence. Even if we got him to court … we could be goners before he even got to the stand. Or worse. Besides, Towne’s doing just fine as it is. We don’t need to ruin that balance because we wanna be heroes.”

Jerry was still reeling over the chief’s jab at his daughter. “I’m not afraid to die. That’s why we’re the police.”

“Oh, COME ON! We’ve got bigger problems to deal with than the drug issue. The Taser’s out there, and here we are arguing about going after some untouchable drug dealer?” He inhaled and paused. “Let’s not get over-excited. You’ve done an excellent job gathering data on Mr. Moore. This would surely help us in our investigation. You have earned it. As of this moment, you’ve been reassigned to be our representative on the county’s task force investigaing the Taser problem. Anything, just … stay away from Kraven Moore!” They stared at each other. “It’s a dead-end.”

Isn’t Chief overreacting to this? Something kept prodding Jerry’s mind, but he ignored it. Perhaps he was reckless, living on autopilot. Perhaps he really did not care if he died anymore, even if it was at the hands of people like Kraven or of those in their networks of influence. “I’m come too far, Chief.”

After a stale pause, Baynes stared at his desk and exhaled. “No use negotiating…”

That thought kept running through Jerry’s mind. This was not going to end well.

Baynes looked up at him. “You’re fired.”

And then it hit him like a freight train. It felt like all the air in the room was sucked out.

But he couldn’t really be fired. His voice came out choked. “I’m sorry?”

“This folder will never see the light of day. Every last one of your supposed ‘witnesses’ has been cleared and released—“

“What?!” Your life is over, Jerry. He’s with Kraven.

“You’ll get your payment for the month, but then that’s it. You’ll have to leave the force.”

Jerry Jenson’s world was crashing all around him in one fell swoop. Baynes had been working for Kraven all along! Could it be a dream he would wake up from? He was not even strong enough to bite his lip to confirm.

“You’re letting me go?” he whispered.

Baynes stood and walked over to a window. “Oh, and we don’t expect you to cause any trouble, Jenson. You’ve already got many strikes against you, as it is.”

“Sir?”

“Let’s just say there’s more than one way to fly, isn’t there, Jeremiah Jenson?” He stared hard at him, his face expressionless.

The Dope. He still had enough stashed in his room, for the lows. He knows … dear God, he knows!

Jerry wished the ground could just open up and swallow him in that moment.

“Have a good evening, Mr. Jenson. Good luck with the rest of your life. Oh, and don’t bother clearing your office. Keep the uniform. Let it be a, uh … a souvenir. A goodbye gift from the Towne Police Department.”

It’s Kraven.

Jerry pushed himself to his feet, on wobbly legs as it was. It felt hard to breathe, or to even say anything intelligible.

Kraven killed your daughter. Kraven took your job. Kraven ruined your life… Is ruining your life…

He walked over to the door and placed his hand on the handle. Baynes just watched him, unsmiling.

It’s been Kraven from the very beginning. The bane of your existence. The scourge. The evil.

“Dear God, my life is over…”

And he walked out the door, lacking even the strength to slam it in anger. He felt like a terrible failure. He really should have seen this coming.

Marty…the Dope…Kraven…Marty…my job…my life…Kraven…Marty….failure…I’m a…I’m…

I will get you, Kraven Moore.

He grabbed his phone, the only thing within his reach, and slammed it against a wall.

The only thing he could think of was the moment he saw Marty’s body in the gutter, eyes staring into the distance. Gone. Dead. That had been the moment his life was turned on its face, the moment he realized that nothing would ever be the same again. The moment he realized that he had failed as a father. It had taken much to bring him up to this point. But now, he had been slammed against rock bottom. And now, he did not know if he could rise any more.

He sank to the floor and cried.

TO BE CONTINUED … in THE ULTIMATUM

Tune in for the continuing drama of TASER, coming up shortly.

If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ‘em.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless ya!

TASER | Episode 1: The Cop

Title Block

It’s a dark room. So dark. And silent. Ceiling lights flicker overhead. And that’s when he sees them.

Bodies. Lying side by side along a wall. Lifeless.

Dead.

Not a single one moves. Propped against the wall, their heads sagging, their eyes shut.

Dead.

And then he sees a familiar face. Dried skin. Unmoving. The resemblance was striking … is striking … It was … it is …

It is him.

Dead.

Jerry sat bolt upright in his bed, panting. The clock glowed red in the darkness of his room. 02:39AM. Somewhere in the distance a dog howled. It was just a dream.

He shut his eyes and sank back into his bed. Not that silly dream again, not now. Please, not now.

It was roughly another thirty minutes before he finally settled in to anything close to a nice sleep.

The Cop

6:03PM

 Russell Road in Towne

Evenings on the Russell thoroughfare were usually calm despite the bustle of shop owners closing for the day. It was not unusual for one or two persons to be running across the road at that time, since most children still played around. But a police chase was out of the ordinary. A young man in jeans and a hoodie ran across the road with a burly policeman hot on his tail, drawing beeps from vehicles that stopped abruptly on both lanes.

The policeman keyed his radio. “Jenson, you got my back?”

The radio squawked. “What’s your ten-twenty?”

“We’re uh…” he paused to take a breath. “He’s heading up the Ramp.” His sides ached. He knew he should’ve taken those morning jogs more seriously.

“That’ll put you guys on Carlyle. He’s headed for the old ghetto. I’ll cut him off.”

“I still think we need more back-up!”

“No! We’ve got this, Clint! Don’t lose him.”

You’re one to talk, he mused. Ahead, the teenager slipped into an alley behind a building, setting a couple of other kids running off. If Clint knew that place well enough, it was surely a dead-end. He halted for a moment, but the kid did not come out. He either thought he’d found a good hiding spot, or was planning to spring him. I’m getting too old for this. Clint placed a hand over his gun.

“Alright! Show’s over, kid!” Clint called out as he approached. Suddenly overcome by a foul odour, he covered his nose and mouth. The alley was strewn with newsprint, mostly littered around the dumpster along the wall on the right. Cigarette smoke still hung in the air. His shadow extended before him into the alley, urged on by the rays of the setting sun. It was all quiet. Too quiet.

Clint sauntered in, wary of the shadows. “Okay,” he muttered in a nasal voice, his hand still covering his nose and mouth. “We can do this the hard way or the easy way.” The fire escapes ran up high to the roofs of the adjoining buildings. He could have climbed up there. But he’d have to have been extremely fast to…

Something scurried behind him. In a flash, Clint turned with his gun raised before a fist hit him flush in the face. He landed with a grunt on the ground, his gun sliding away. A cold blade pressed gently on his neck. “Don’t move!” the kid rasped.

Now crouched and on his knees, Clint’s pulse thumped in his ears. “It’s OK! Don’t do anything hasty!” It was all rushing from his mouth. Where are ya, Jenson? He tried to reach for his radio, but the move would have been too obvious. His best play was to be calm.

“Don’t make me kill ya!” the kid said with a slight whimper in his voice.

Clint’s experience in the force was enough to tell him that the kid was visibly scared. He had not killed anyone before, and he clearly wasn’t about to start now. Still, riling him up would be dangerous, tense as he already was. “That was a mean swing. But it’s OK, we don’t have to—“

“No! It’s NOT OK!” That blade was pressing a little bit too hard now. “I’m not a criminal. I-it was an accident!”

C’mon, Jenson… “Hey,” Clint tried to be calm, but kneeling and crouching on the hard ground was becoming more uncomfortable. And that horrible smell from the dumpster … ugh. “It’s up to the courts to decide now, kid. But what we saw you doing was illegal.”

“I was just selling the stuff. It’s…you’ve got nothing on me, man—“

“Newsflash, son: Dope is illegal! Selling it is a crime. And so is evading arrest.”

“I don’t even do the drugs, man. This is the only way I get any dough.”

This kid wouldn’t stab a stop sign!  He was concentrating more on talking than on threatening Clint. This was to Clint’s advantage.  “And this is what, your way of pulling your weight, proving you’re a man now? What do you think your parents feel about you hanging with that crowd? Or paying your bail?”

A pause. “They’re dead. I got no one.”

Clint was stuck there. Well, you’re not the first one. “I’m sorry, kid. Really. But … how’d you end up with these guys? You’re not like all the others. You seem like a smart kid.”

“This was supposed to be my last run. I wasn’t gonna do this no more. Now that he’s let me go.” He suddenly gasped. “I know why you guys are after me. He sent you, didn’t he? The Big Guy?”

Clint was going to say something but he was suddenly interrupted by a buzz followed by a gut-wrenching scream. The blade dropped to the ground and the kid fell to the pavement, yelping. Clint scampered toward his gun and turned. There behind the screaming kid stood Jerry Jenson, all six-feet and over 250 pounds of him.

“Now he shows up!” Clint said.

It burns!” the kid wailed, grabbing for his back. “It HURTS, maaan!”

Jenson replaced the stun gun in its holster as he stooped. “Kid, by order of the Towne Police Department, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent—“ the kid was still screaming “—and anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.”

“Seriously?!” Clint squinted at him.

“You also have the right to legal counsel during questioning, but in the event that you are unable to afford one, an attorney will be provided for you by the—“

“So that’s it?” Clint asked, getting to his feet. “You show up late, and now you’re just gonna ignore me now?” The kid was still writhing in pain. Some citizens peered through the windows overhead. “And what did you do to this kid?!”

Jenson was busy placing the kid’s hands in cuffs. “What’s it look like I did?”

“You tazed him?” The kid still lay on the ground, and Jenson was still avoiding his eyes. “Why’s he screaming like that?”

Jenson inhaled. “Junkies have high pain thresholds. Had to up the voltage a bit. My bad.” He reached into the kid’s pocket and pulled out a big white ball of dope wrapped in a bag. “Are you kidding me? You didn’t even think of ditching this along the way?”

I’m not going to jail!” the kid cried. “I’m not a criminal!

Jenson pulled him to his feet. “Yeah, and I’m the queen of England. Hey, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

Clint arched a brow. “That’s a little cliché, don’t you think?”

“Let’s go.” And Jenson single-handedly bundled the struggling kid to the squad car. The rage that fueled that man…

“So no apology?” Clint asked as Jenson thrust the kid into the backseat and slammed the door. “You’re welcome, by the way.”

The crowd that gathered watched as they pulled away from the scene.

“I hate cops!” the kid mumbled in the backseat.

Clint turned in his seat. “Oh really?” But the kid just stared at him with cold eyes. Clint ignored him and turned when the kid continued.

“You’re phonies! Hypos! Cons…”

“Hippos?” Jenson arched a brow.

“Hypocrites…” Clint explained.

“…they call you the law but you’re all as rotten as the rest of us!”

Jenson had had it. “Will you SHUT IT back there?!”

“Easy, Jerry,” Clint gave him a look.

“This kid will drive me nuts!”

“You can’t take me back to the Big Guy,” the kid screamed. “I’m not going back…”

“Yeah, the Big Guy,” Clint turned to Jenson. “He keeps saying that.”

“You think I’m a felon,” the kid’s rant continued. “At least I’m trying to change! While you, cops, break the very laws you—“

“I’m gonna hit that kid!” Jenson said, fuming by the wheel.

“Easy, Jerry! Hey, kid, who’s the Big Guy?”

“The Big Guy?” Jenson turned. “He say that?”

“Weren’t you listening?”

“All I heard was blah-blah-blah-hippos-blah-blah-annoying junk-blah blah…

“Yeah, I get it. Blah. Duh.”

“That’s what their Inner Circle calls Moore. The Big Guy.”

Kraven Moore?”

“I wasn’t really gonna skip town,” the kid cried. “I wasn’t gonna. I’m solid.”

Clint cocked his head. “But I thought you told me that this was your last run…”

“He thinks we work for Moore,” Jenson surmised. “He’s covering his tracks.”

“It’s OK, kid. We’re the good guys.”

“Yeah, and I’m the Easter Bunny,” the kid muttered.

Clint gave him a look. “What’s your name, kid?”

The kid paused. “Jamie.”

“Well, Jamie,” Jenson said. “Whether you like it or not, you’re going to jail. And you’re gonna regret it, too. Momma’s gonna have to pay for bail. Oh no, wait I forgot … she’s dead. Boo-hoo, get used to it.”

The car was silent for a moment. Clint squinted at him. “You didn’t have to do that, Jenson. That was just mean.”

Under his breath, Jenson muttered, “Story of my life.”

Jamie Gustav refused to say anymore about ‘the Big Guy’ even at the precinct. Fair enough, their stream of ‘info gathering’ had ended three arrests ago. The more recent ones kept spilling out the same things. Jamie was booked and placed in a cell until trial. Tired and already working after-hours, they spent the rest of the evening watching the news in the pub across the street, over doughnuts and coffee.

“Chief will not be pleased,” Clint Barker said, referring to the chief of police. “Soon as he gets back, he’s gonna whip our behinds.”

Jerry Jenson shrugged. “Won’t be the first time he’s been peeved. I really think we’re on to something here, Clint.”

“No, you’re on to something. I’m just the mascot. Going after them drug pushers was a wild goose chase from the very beginning, and you know it.”

Jenson’s cell beeped. He stared at the screen and shut it. He lowered his voice. “Look, Clint, I need you to trust me on this one. Kraven Moore’s guilty. Once we get all the evidence we need to bury him—“

“What more do we need? And what makes you think we’ll make it out alive? Wake up and smell the Starbucks, man. Haven’t you been listening to the witnesses we’ve been gathering?”

“Clint –“

“I don’t know about this. Moore’s syndicate may have more influence than we can even imagine. We may be getting in too deep.”

“We expected this right from the ‘git-go’, Clint. This was what we signed up for.”

“Haven’t you noticed that we’re the only ones following this case? Hey, you may be reckless all you want, good luck. I got a family to pro…” His voice trailed off. His face registered his shock at his mistake. “…tect…”

Jerry took a sip from his coffee. Yes, he had no family. Not anymore, at least. The only family he had had died two years earlier. But he was not going to think about it now. He would not hold it against Clint for bringing this up again, however unintentional his bringing it up had been, in context.

“Bro, I’m sorry. That came out wrong.”

Jerry held up a hand. “It’s all good. You don’t have to keep apologizing every time you talk about it…”

“No, I mean it. I was … that was insensitive and uncalled for—“

“Hey! Let it go.” Clint still winced. “Really.”

They ate in silence, watching the news. This was the part Jenson dreaded, the awkward-silence bit. No one wanted to say the wrong thing at that moment. Perhaps it was best to keep quiet then. Besides, some said it was alright for friends to have occasional quiet moments. But they could not remain silent. Jenson never liked awkward pauses. Time for a save, Jerry.

He sighed. “You know … sometimes I wonder why our founding fathers just called this town … ‘Towne’?” Jenson said, trying to lighten the mood. “I mean, couldn’t they come up with a better name? A real name?”

Clint chuckled, still wary. “Towne, huh?” The TNN news correspondent on TV was now introducing the weather segment.

“Yeah? I mean, they might as well have called the country ‘The Country’? Or they could just call us … what, ‘Metropolis’?” Now Clint laughed. “Like they just wanted to get on with the story they wanted to tell.”

Jerry’s cell beeped again. This time he simply clicked it off.

Just then the door chimed as the big Edgar ‘Eddie’ Maxwell bounced in. “Hey, Jerry! Clint, my man!”

“Here comes the bulldozer,” Jerry muttered in a sing-song voice. He never liked Eddie’s knack for long pointless conversations. They pumped knuckles with Eddie, just before he grabbed Jerry’s last doughnut. “And now he’s got my dinner.”

Eddie grinned and held the remaining crescent up in thanks. “I hear you guys pulled another one in today.”

Jerry sighed. Yeah, like I need an announcement anytime you hear something new. He avoided Clint’s side-glance. “You never miss a thing, Eddie.” He took a sip from his cup of coffee.

“I’m not trying to be nosey or anything, but the rest of the guys have been talking,” Eddie said, leaning closer. “You two should be careful out there.”

Clint jumped on that one. “Wait, what’re the guys saying?” But Eddie was already walking towards the counter.

“Just be careful,” he called back.

Jenson knew Eddie had a point. He really had reason to be careful. Kraven Moore’s monopoly on the market for narcotics gave him a lot of influence, especially in the criminal underworld. And out in the open, he was the wealthy philanthropist donating to charities, dedicating monuments, and kissing babies. But in the intelligence community where it mattered, everyone knew he was the drug baron of Towne. Many said that he held his customers by a form of mind control. Jenson just assumed it was the drug dependence of his customers that kept them beholden to him. With Kraven, no one knew where the facts ended and where rumors began. But the only thing Jenson was sure of was that Kraven was a criminal, the type of person that must be brought to justice.

  He knew he was being reckless here. But he had to do this. He stared up and caught Clint staring at him. He sighed. “Go ahead. You can’t keep tip-toeing around me.”

Clint kept his voice low. “Is this about Marty?” Yup, he was going to bring that up sooner or later. “You can’t keep beating yourself up because of that.”

“I’ve gotta redeem myself, Clint.” That was the most he had said about his situation to anyone. Clint paused as he held his gaze.

“You’ve done enough already.” Jerry’s phone beeped again. “And don’t cut that call. Could be a good girl, you never know.”

Jerry didn’t bat an eye as he punched the ‘Silence’ button. “It is. And I know. And I’m not looking for a girl now.” He ran a hand through his hair. “It’s my sister.”

Clint’s eyes widened. “Gigi? The amazing sister you never stop talking about?”

He held up his cup, but the coffee was finished. “Yeah, well she’s in Towne for the weekend. Wants us to meet up tonight. For dinner.”

“You need a dinner to talk with your sister?”

“That’s her idea, apparently. And I don’t ‘need’ to talk with her.”

Clint gave him that look again. “You haven’t talked with her in a long time, have you?” Jenson only shrugged. “C’mon, this is your sister we’re talking about, Jerry. I’ve never met her before, but if all the stories you keep telling me from when you were young are something, then this is what you need.”

“No.”

“Look, we’ve both had a long week. I have no idea what you’re going through like you do. But a return to normalcy is what you need right now.” He held up a hand to shut Jerry up. Like that would work.

“There is no normalcy to return to.”

“Hey, just trust me on this one,” Clint said with a smile. “Go, meet your sister tonight. Call her. You need this more than you know.”

“Clint, I … I’m not the guy she thinks I am. Not anymore.”

“Jerry, you’re a cop. You’re a decent man. Haven’t seen you with a bottle in months now. You always wanna do what’s right. You’re a father … trying to honor the memory of his daughter. Don’t you want Gigi to see the man you’ve become?”

That’s what I’m afraid of.

 

Jerry knew Clint was right.

But the truth was he also knew the man that he had become, and he was not proud of it.

After his wife had died during labour, Marty had been the only ray of comfort in his life. Growing up without a mother had not been easy for her, Jerry knew, but he had not been the best of fathers either. He had focused on his job in the force, and spent much time away from Marty and her teenage angst. Way too much time, he realized in hindsight. But then, he felt he had pushed her out into the big bad world outside. Clueless, he had misinterpreted her preference for dark clothes, tattoos and cutting and stuff, as simple adolescent rebellion. Later perusal of her diary opened up her world of gloom and pain to Jerry. How had all of this happened without him seeing? She had been hanging out with druggies, and had done some experimentation herself. He would never forget the day her fifteen year old body was found in a gutter, the result of an overdose.

Drowning in depression, Jerry had sunk into his old habits of drinking and smoking. As much as he denied it to his colleagues, he had also gotten into the drug scene. He had felt like a mess. He did things he tried really hard to forget. It had taken months for him to return to the man he was today. But some of the pain still haunted him.

He had never really gotten over the drugs, but he still never got relieved of depression. In his frequent low times, he got high and drowned himself in a bottle. But that usually left him feeling high and dry, the ecstasy gone. Alone, feeling like a ‘hypo’, as Jamie called it. He fought and fought to come out of this, but he always returned to the lows.

Maybe that was why he wanted to deal with Kraven Moore. If he was really the drug baron everyone talked about, then he was Jerry’s enemy. Everything he was fighting against was embodied by that man. Kraven.

  What would Gigi think of the man you’ve become? He thought as he drove through the streets, headed home.

And in all that time, Gigi had never stopped trying to reach him. While he avoided her deliberately, her messages of encouragement never ceased on voicemail, texts, even on Facebook. Gigi…how do you do that?

He was now at an intersection. He could either continue home on the right lane or turn left down to Quigley’s, where Gigi said she would be waiting.

They were not related by blood, actually. They had both grown up at the Irene Williams Home for Orphans. But with no other family, Gigi had become the closest thing to a sister he could ever have. She was so nice to all that everyone liked her. She was always there to defend Jerry— who was older— whenever he was bullied. And, oh, he was bullied more often than not as a kid. Not every young boy with a pot belly survived the jokes from the bullies back then. Maybe that was why he had always wanted to be a cop in the first place, to deal with the bullies of the world.

But now, he was simply an organ in the system, living in reaction to whatever happened around him. He was neither deep nor superficial, keeping others at arm’s length. Sometimes, some would consider him mean. But none of them really cared what was going on with him.

  What would Gigi think of the man I’ve become?

He was just a man fighting for his peace. Fighting to live.

He parked outside the Quigley’s Diner. Better get this over with. He stepped out of his car, locked it, and made his way to the door. Ok, how do I say it? I’m sorry for not picking your call? Yeah, that’ll do. If she won’t accept it, I’ll just shrug…I’ll just…

An old man in rags held up a can by the door. A sign by his feet read ‘FEED THE HUNGRY KIDS’.  Jerry rolled his eyes as he approached him.  “Oi there, guv. Drop a li’l coin for the young-uns tonight, eh mate?”

“Out of the way, gramps,” Jerry pushed past him, leaving the man stunned.

Now, you don’t have to be like that. While Jerry was not used to giving to causes, he most definitely didn’t like people shoving cans in his face; especially those with bogus British accents. He knew the man meant well, and did not deserve to be treated badly. Why do I do these things?

But he was not prepared for the sight that met him as soon as he entered the diner.

All around there were tables with people seated. But Gigi’s was not hard to miss. Her table had a very prominent cake in the centre, and was decorated with red ribbons. And there she sat, her eyes twinkling as she flashed that impossible smile at him.

“Happy birthday, bro!” she exulted. Everyone turned to see who it was, and as one the diner applauded the man whose birthday Gigi was celebrating. Me?

Jerry’s mouth was suddenly dry. It’s my birthday…my…  He had stopped celebrating anything ever since Marty died. There just never seemed to be a point to celebrate. But here he was, having forgotten that this was his birthday. Gigi would not let the day pass. Gigi, how do you do all this?

  The fact that someone still cared about him to celebrate his birthday, to remember this … when he had even forgotten it, made his eyes water. He blinked the tears away. He was a cop, after all. In his mind, at least.

Gigi stood and hurried over to him, her silky black hair flowing down to her neck. Beautiful as ever. He embraced his sister, but he could not speak. What could he say?

“Thanks for coming, bro,” she whispered in his ear. That did it. The sobs came.

Thank me? Thank YOU!!! But nothing came out of his mouth.

How could he thank Gigi for this? He did not deserve this, after shutting her out for so long.

Somehow, he knew Clint had been right. This had been what he needed.

In one small way, he felt like he was home.

Later that night, a couple of police officers stumbled out of a pub. It had been another Friday night rave. Who cared that they would be driving drunk? They were the law; deal with it! As they entered their cars, one of them stopped.

“Hey, guys, come check this out!” He pointed his flashlight up the side wall of the pub. It was not unusual for them to see graffiti on walls in Towne, but this was different.

For a moment the policemen were silent. It couldn’t be…

“This fits his M.O.,” another cop commented.

“Anyone see this when they were coming in?”

“Nuh-uh. This one’s fresh.”

“We’d better call it in.”

“You sure? Could just be some kids messing around.

“Too risky. Killers of his type don’t tolerate copycats.”

Up on the wall was a big T with one word written underneath.

TONIGHT!

    “Better spread the word. This is gonna be a long night.”

He keyed his radio. “Dispatch, we have a scribbled threat on Twenty-Fourth and Downey, Uptown Pub, west wall. Fits the M.O. of the vigilante.“

He was interrupted by another transmission. “We got the same thing over here on Yak Avenue. Big T with the word ‘TONIGHT’ scribbled under.” The cops exchanged glances.

The dispatcher’s voice came over the radio. “Dispatch to Unit on Yak. Are you certain?”

“Affirmative.”

“Downey?”

“Ten-four.”

A third report came over the radio. The dispatcher asked for clarification. An awkward pause followed.

One of the cops blinked. “What’s going on?”

The dispatcher came back on. “All units be at alert. Code Red. We are at full-scale security tonight. A possible attack is imminent. I repeat, the Taser might strike tonight.”

And somewhere in Towne, the one they called the Taser was smiling. The message was out.

TO BE CONTINUED…in THE TRAP

Tune in for the continuing drama of TASER.

If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ’em.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless ya!

TASER

Title Block

SYNOPSIS
As the elusive vigilante known as ‘the Taser’ comes to a small town, the police are suddenly riled up. In the midst of ever-changing stakes and an investigation that goes awry, one man is brought face-to-face with questions he never thought he would ever consider.

Written in the tone of a TV  serial, this 6-episode story of grace and redemption in the midst of gloom and darkness is sure to rock your world.

Episode 1: The Cop

Episode 2: The Trap

Episode 3: The Ultimatum

Episode 4: The Alternative

Episode 5: The Real World

The Finale: A New Story

In this world, nothing is what it seems.

UNCHURCH

(Photo Credits: www.inimagine.com)
(Photo Credits: http://www.inimagine.com)

From Tobi’s Journal

I didn’t like going to Church.
OK, I know that must sound like a backslider’s swansong as he sinks slowly back into the dark and sinful world. But here, in my journal where no one can judge me, I can be honest. To me, Church was just … boring. This comes from growing up in a church family. But don’t worry, this story gets better along the way. Just stay with me.
My most dreaded day of the week was Sunday, ‘cause that’s when we’d all have to wake up by 6 am so we can leave the house and be in church by 7 am (I mean, who wakes up that early … on a weekend?). It didn’t matter that we hurried to church because we’d still be a few minutes late for the Workers’ Meeting so we’d all remain standing ‘till morning service began at 8 am. In all this time, we hadn’t eaten. It all felt rushed to me, and quite unsettling. Why couldn’t I just sleep in or play games or watch movies all morning, like other folks did? I wasn’t even a ‘worker’ in church, my parents were!
Anyway, we’d then start the Morning Service (and that’s another thing, I wondered why they called it ‘service’. It’s a ‘programme’, not a delivery service or anything) with Praise and Worship. I can recite the entire church programme by heart; any church kid can. Praise and Worship a system of slow songs, then fast jumpy songs, and then more slow songs, with or without the raising of hands. One of the deacons would then come up to take the Opening Prayer (the older the deacon, the longer the prayer, just saying), followed by the Testimonies (people telling us what God’s done for them) and/or a Hymn (really old songs in old books written by old people long gone before our grandpas were born). The choir would then take what they called the ‘Choir Ministration’, a special song they figured we’d either not heard before or that they thought we’d like. Pastor Dan would then come on stage and give a long teaching from the Bible called a Sermon. And don’t you dare take a nap or the ushers would tap you, exposing you and ruining your chances with anyone you secretly admire. Too bad if you haven’t got a wristwatch either, because they deliberately keep the big clock on the wall at the back facing the front, so that only the pastor can know how long he’s spending, and can choose to keep you seated for as long as he wants. After the Sermon, you know it is almost time to get home, so you listen through the Announcements and wait for the Closing Prayer and Benediction (‘May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…’). Another Church Service is over. That is, unless there’s another meeting after.
Maybe I was a little too hard back there. It wasn’t so bad, you know. Perhaps it was just my perspective that needed changing. Either way, here’s what happened one Sunday.
The first warning signs I should have noticed was my father’s constant snicker anytime he talked about the coming Sunday’s service. “Don’t forget to invite your friends,” he said. Yeah right, like I’d bring my friends over to my church. As in my church?
“They’re already going to theirs,” I said.
“It’s just one Sunday. They can tell their parents that I’ll pick them up. It’s going to be special, trust me.” My father and mother teach in Bible Study classes.
I smiled sheepishly. My Mom suddenly put in. “What about the family across the road? The Oluwoles?”
Uh-oh. “Haven’t they got a boy your age?” Dad added. “I think his name’s Tosin?”
I nodded slowly, thinking of why this would not work. Tosin was not what you’d call ‘church’-material. He was one of the ‘big boys’ in school, who always seemed to have a lot of stuff, and hung out with other guys who did. His father worked in an oil company in the South-South. Girls like those kinds of guys; you learn that pretty quickly. Other guys like me just knew we were out of his league. Why would he come to my church? “Yyyyeeeeesss, but I don’t think he’ll wanna come.”
“It’s worth a try,” Mom said. “I’ve seen his mother in our church once. Besides it’s not far from this neighbourhood.”
“I think I’ll talk to his father,” Dad said. “He’s back from Port Harcourt.”
“Just try, Tobi,” Mom said. “Hmm?”
I didn’t. But this is not about how I did or did not tell him, because in the end he turned up in church with his mother, father, and his little baby sister. I did not go up to meet them, no way. How could I let him see me in my church clothes: tucked in t-shirt and trousers? He looked cool in his Lakers jersey and jeans. Man, I felt jealous that morning. Gotta work on myself. But, moving on.
The choir came on stage to lead us in Praise and Worship, all dressed in their ceremonial gowns. Another Sunday service about to begin. The handsome choir leader who many of the girls had a crush on (if my sister’s comments are anything to go by) came up in front and took the microphone. “Let’s lift our hands as we sing,” he said. Hands went up all around the sanctuary. I wondered what someone like Tosin was thinking about all this.
And he blew us away.
With just the right instruments, the guitars and drums blared in an awesome blend as the tenors sang,

We are the Champions, my friends!
And we’ll keep on fighting ‘til the end
We are the Champions
We are the Champions
No time for losers
For we are the Champions
Of the World!

My jaw fell open. What in the world was going on? That was not a gospel song … was it? I could not hear the rest because it was drowned out by the screams of the young people in the auditorium. For the sake of the older ones, the lyrics were displayed on the projector screens. I knew the choir surely had something up their sleeves. But that was not the end of it.
And as the refrain ended, the fast beats came. As one the choir jumped with the rhythm. And they just kept it going. It was not over.

I will never say never (I will fight)
I will fight till forever
Whenever you knock me down
I will not stay on the ground…

I was surprised these songs were being sung in church. In my church. I was more surprised to hear the screams and to see many of the ‘church kids’ singing along enthusiastically. So girls in my church also listened to Bieber, hmm. It was clear that they felt nervous at first, but then they just shrugged it off. Hey, if they were singing it in church it must be alright, right?
Some of the songs, I did not really recognize. They were mainly mainstream songs that many people knew. I even saw my Mom singing along to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, a Diana Ross hit from the ‘70s. The congregation was ecstatic that morning. It was all weird, but fun. And then the final blast came, and we all cheered. The instrumentals were amazing; I had to give it to them. I wondered how long they had been preparing for this.
“Now, time for the slow songs,” the leader said. I blinked. No, he didn’t just say that…

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me…

Oh no, what was going on here? This was funny, but it just felt weird around here.

Iwe kiko (Yoruba translation: Education)
L’aisi oko (without the hoe)
Ati ada (and cutlass … just a Yoruba expression for ‘farming’)
Ko ipe o (is not enough)
Ko ipe o (is definitely not enough)

Soon he was done, and everyone cheered as they took their seats, wondering what would happen next. Clearly, this was all staged. Deacon Olasope came up on stage. “Welcome to another beautiful Sunday, everyone. I’m sure we’ve all had quite an interesting past week. We’ve had some good times, some not-so-good times, and some of the…” he winced. “So-sos.” That elicited giggles.
“So if anybody wants to tell us some of the good things that happened to them in the last week, please come up on stage.” In our church, people with testimonies to share registered with the pastor before the service. Today there were six up on stage. The first person announced that he did not get arrested for speeding beyond the speed limit. We laughed. The second was grateful that we’d had no earthquakes. The third announced that he’d got a new videogame. The other ‘testimonies’ were equally weird.
OK, by this point I was feeling totally weirded out. None of this made sense in any way. Thankfully, Pastor Dan came up to set things right again. As he stopped up on stage in his polo shirt and jeans, the moments that followed would be one of the most solemn moments I would ever remember in our church.
“We’ve had quite an interesting programme today, haven’t we?”There were murmurs of affirmation, but then it was clear that others felt the same way. If this all was an attempt to get people to enjoy church, it was lame. “I know everyone is wondering what’s been going on. Some unconventional things have happened here today. In the next few minutes, let’s talk about it together, shall we?”
There was an awkward moment of silence as the pastor stared at us all. I pitied him for the moment, because this was church. No one wants to talk in church, as far as I’m concerned. We were simply OK with him ending each sentence with ‘Praise the Lord’ or ‘Amen’, and us responding with ‘Halleluiah’. No one was going to—
But then someone in front raised a hand. “Yes,” Pastor’s face lit up as he pointed at her. “Tell us, Joana.”
Joana was one of the kids in our youth forum, who was never afraid to speak her mind. Thankfully she’s the one that got everyone talking that day. “We sang secular songs in church today.”
“Secular?” one of the elderly woman exclaimed. “Those were worldly songs! They don’t minister life!”
That got many people talking over each other, as each side wanted to prove that the songs were either totally bad or not that bad. Music was just one of those topics that many people even in my church did not fully agree on.
When Pastor Dan finally got us all to calm down, he said, “OK, now we all want to talk. But we’ve gotten that point down. ‘Un-Christian songs in church … that don’t minister life’, is that good with everyone? We deliberately selected songs with morally-acceptable content for this exercise. That’ll be the last time we’ll sing those songs from here, don’t worry. Wonderful. Any other thing we noticed?”
Some people still muttered about the music. I could not put my finger on it, but there was something more to this Sunday service that made me feel uneasy. He was expecting us to talk about the order of programmes, but no one wanted to state the obvious.
Suddenly a stranger raised his hand. He was Tosin’s dad, the one that worked in Port Harcourt. He was a huge man, and this was his first time in our church. Uh-oh, I thought, Pastor’s in big trouble today.
“Good morning everyone,” he said. “I’ll make it brief. Uh… this is my first time in this church. I don’t go to church normally, except for special occasions like Christmas or Easter, or December 31st or funerals and memorial services. It’s just how I live. I would not have come today, had uh…my neighbour not invited me.” He was talking about my Dad. I just wished he remembered his name.
“I understand that what we’ve had here today was simply an act, for a discussion, and I’m glad. I really am, because … I don’t have anything against the songs. It’s just that, this is church. The few times I come to church, I get the opportunity to think about someone else for a change. To experience God in a different way, apart from the busyness of the rest of my week. I don’t know if anyone here understands me—“ there were nods all around “—but I come to church to be with God. I did not have any of that here today, Pastor. It felt no different than a hang out with friends, and nothing more. I came for the ‘more’. And I hope I’ll still get some of that today. Thank you.”
As he sat, we all applauded his statement. What he said gave me the courage to stand. “Yes, Tobi,” Pastor Dan encouraged me to speak.
“It was not only the songs,” I said. “But everything else was missing something. I did not feel … safe. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just did not feel safe.”
“Thank you, Tobi.”
More people spoke along the same lines. Some did not feel safe, some did not feel encouraged, and some were annoyed at some of the bogus testimonies praising their human ingenuity and all. Some blatantly said that they did not feel God. It did not feel like Church to any of us.
Pastor Dan got all of this down. “Thank you everyone. Without God, all that we do here every Sunday is empty. Beyond the order of programmes and activities, there is Someone calling to us through it all. We dedicate our songs to him in here, we praise him for his wonderful work and we thank Him for what He’s done for us. He is our God, and also our Father who has saved us and called us to Himself. We pray to Him. This is who we are, and it’s what we do here, folks. Without Him, our Sunday mornings here are nothing more than a waste of time.
“In giving the first morning of the week to the Lord, we are setting a template for the week ahead. I’m not saying you must start your day at your workplace with fifteen minutes of praise and worship … or fast songs and slow songs.” That made us laugh again. “And while we’re on the subject, you do understand that ‘praise’ does not necessarily mean a fast song, and ‘worship’ does not necessarily mean a slow song either, right?” We agreed. “Uh … Media Team, please put up Romans 12:1, from The Message, please? Thank you. Songs of praise are songs of adoration and sometimes thanksgiving to God for what He’s done for us, for who He is. Songs of Worship are, uh … they are an expression of the heart in love and worship to God. You know what, I don’t have the best definitions here, but that leads me to my next point. Media are we … ready?” He sighed as he stared at the screen, waiting for the projection to adjust.
Our Media Team was pretty awesome, but sometimes they got quite clumsy. I was going to join them someday. But today they first put up Romans 11:1 before the projection changed to 12:1.
I think Pastor Dan likes reading from The Message Bible sometimes because of its conversational tone. “Very good. Romans 12:1 says, and here, Brother Paul is speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, ‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—‘ now everyone listen closely to this, ‘—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.’” He paused and stared back at us. “That’s Worship, friends. That’s what God expects from us every single day. Our offerings to Him are not a couple of notes and coins we place in the basket every Sunday, no. It’s our everyday lives, in the little things we do. Honouring Him, thanking Him for His faithfulness and goodness, and glorifying Him in all our ways. Living lives of integrity, of love. This is the most reasonable way to serve God.
“That’s what Worship means, people of God,” Pastor Dan said, slowly so that we all got it. “That’s what ‘Service’ means, to God. We’re serving Him by offering our lives to Him for His purpose. To be what He wants us to be, and to do what He wants us to do.” He stepped down from the podium and stood among the congregation. “Sunday is a platform; I could almost call it a ‘special excuse’, or an opportunity to pour out ourselves and our time as an offering to our Father. Surely, He will bless us as He has promised. But this is our part, to Worship. A book I read years ago defined ‘Worship’ as ‘Worth-ship’, giving the most worth to the One that deserves it the most. Not just in our songs, but specifically in our lives. What we do here is a product of that, unto God. That’s what makes us His house.”
In the moments that followed, we all let this sink in. He was right. It was not just the literal mentioning of ‘God’ in our programmes, but an outpouring of our hearts. That’s what made the programmes worthwhile, even if they were changed or re-ordered, or even if they remained monotonous. It’s the Lord we worship beyond all of this that makes it worthwhile.

“So now,” Pastor Dan said. “We’ve had quite a morning. Now let’s do some Service.” And Sister Sarah took her place at the grand piano. She is one of those elderly women who have been a blessing to our congregation for generations. I was told she started our choir when my Dad was still a boy, and that her children were successful pastors abroad. No one would have known that she was a doctor, for her musical skill was always a marvel and a blessing to us. Perhaps it was this new perspective I had just gotten that allowed me to see her and her gift as a gift from God that morning. For as we followed her in singing her song, we meant it with all we had.
All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my Blessed Savior
I surrender all.
We spent the rest of the morning worshipping God in prayer and song. What a service that was. While we’ve not had that kind of service again, I kinda enjoyed it. I wonder what comments Pastor Dan got after.

So, what do I think about Church now? I still don’t enjoy rushing every Sunday morning, and the monotonous order sometimes just gives me a good laugh. But I understand that God deserves my best, and Sunday services in Church are an opportunity to do that. From the songs, to the prayers, to the testimonies, the Sermon, and even the rare projections on screen, I get to see God at work in these people. He’s much bigger than the box I make for Him in my mind, and He’s just … amazing. I’m encouraged in my walk with God. I don’t have all the answers. But I know there’s a good reason children of God gather together to meet and worship Him this way. Iron sharpens iron…

The other day I showed this piece to my friend, Emmanuel. He’s a weird guy, that one. He suggested that he’d like to post this article on his blog. I think he was just teasing. I just hope he didn’t do it. If this goes on his blog, the things I’ll do to that guy … I’ll … I’ll … oh well, I’ll just have to forgive him. Eventually.
Until next time, journal.

P.S.: Emmanuel here. I gotta apologise to Tobi for posting this up, though I warned him. Hey, to you readers out there, do NOT read other people’s journals without their permission … even if they are fictitious characters!

For those of you that waited behind for more, here’s a little teaser for a Feature Presentation coming soon …

A Feature Presentation coming soon on Emmanuel Presents
A Feature Presentation coming soon on Emmanuel Presents